28 April 2015, Tuesday, 5:05

Homel resident secures fine cancellation through UN

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The UN Human Rights Committee recommended that Belarus should change legislation after Uladzimir Shumilin's complaint.

Homel resident Uladzimir Shumilin distributed leaflets on the meeting of the former presidential candidate Alyaksandr Milinkevich with the townspeople in 2008. During that, Uladzimir was detained by the police and the court fined him for five hundred dollars for organizing a mass event. Human rights activist Leanid Sudalenka says:

"According to the Belarusian legislation, it is forbidden to disseminate information on the actions that are not sanctioned by the authorities, or when the permission for them is not yet received."

In order to defend his rights, Uladzimir Shumilin addressed to the "center of strategic litigation." Human rights activist Leanid Sudalenka helped the local activist to come through all the court instances in Belarus, starting from the district court and ending with the Supreme Court. However, even the Supreme Court did not cancel the verdict. Therefore, the Homel resident decided to go to the Human Rights Committee at the United Nations, says Leanid Sudalenka:

"Unfortunately, we failed to protect Uladzimir Shumilin’s rights inside the country. We complained to the Human Rights Committee, the UN, and this summer they took a decision on the complaint – they decided that this persecution violated the rights of citizen Uladzimir Shumilin  for freedom to distribute information and for peaceful assemblies."

The UN Human Rights Committee also recommended that the state should recompense all expenses held by Shumilin. The Belarusian authorities also have 90 days to publish the decision in the state media and to report to the UN Committee on the implementation of the recommendations. However, Uladzimir Shumilin's greatest achievement is that the international experts recommended that the Belarusian government should change the norms of the national legislation on mass events and to bring them into correspondence with the international Pact on Civil and Political Rights, which Belarus once signed. 

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