The complaint of Victor Rubtsov, one of Gomel activists of the 2017 spring protest actions and a member of the REP Trade Union, was accepted on September 10 by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNCHR). Now, the government of Belarus will have to look for an answer to the question why the authorities are still arresting citizens for participating in peaceful protests against the ordinance on "parasites".
In his complaint registered by the UN Human Rights Committee (HRC) at No. 3239/2018, the activist tells how, on February 19, 2017, together with others (about 3000 people), he took part in an unauthorized street march and a rally that took place in Vosstaniya Square and Sovietskaya Street in Gomel.
During the peaceful rally, he notes, they protested against Presidential Ordinance No. 3 "On the Prevention of Social Dependency", after which they dispersed without any incidents.
"No one had any doubts that the protest passed peacefully. Nevertheless, I, like other active participants were summoned to militia, where we were accused of violating the established order of holding mass events. On last March 13-27, I spent my 14-day arrest at the detention facility (known as IVS). Under the domestic procedure, we had asked local authorities to sanction our action 15 days in advance, but received a ban," Victor Rubtsov quoted his complaint.
Leonid Sudalenko, a rights defender and the legal inspector of the REP Trade Union, who helps people to defend their rights at the international level, has stressed that Gomel activists spent over 60 days at the IVS and were forced to pay huge administrative fines. Practically all of them have used their right to file individual complaints to the UN HRC.