Ales Bialiatski waiting for four months, Uladzimir Makei silent
Late last year, the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) wrote to the Belarusian Minister of Foreign Affairs Uladzimir Makei asking the official to respect the decision taken by the UN Human Rights Committee in the case of Viasna leader Ales Bialiatski. As yet, the minister has not given any response to FIDH’s appeal.
The open letter, which was signed by Ales Bialiatski and Antoine Bernard, FIDH Chief Executive Officer, reminds the MFA about the nature of the UN HRC’s decision. The Committee said that the prosecution of Ales Bialiatski was a violation of his right to freedom of association, since, according to the Committee, it were the numerous refusals to register the HRC "Viasna" that empowered the authorities to prosecute the NGO’s head.
In its decision, the Committee urged the Belarusian government within 180 days from the date of the adoption of its Views, to undertake steps that would result in an effective and enforceable remedy to Ales Bialiatski, “including (a) the reconsideration of the application for registration of the Viasna Association, based on criteria compliant with the requirements of Article 22 of the Covenant; (b) annulment of the criminal conviction from his criminal record; and (c) adequate compensation, including reimbursement of the legal costs incurred. The State of Belarus is also under the obligation to take steps to prevent similar violations in the future. In this connection, the State should review its internal legislation to ensure its compliance with the requirements of Article 22 of the Covenant.”
Commenting on the lack of response from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ales Bialiatski says that ignoring the respected international human rights organization is not conducive to the improvement of relations between Belarus and the EU, but, instead, questions the sincerity of the Belarusian authorities’ intentions, whose deeds are far from matching their words.
According to a Regulation on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, monitoring the implementation of international treaties by the state bodies of Belarus and assisting their implementation are among the Ministry’s key priorities.