News / 24.09.18

"It was a spontaneous peaceful assembly": REP activist seeks justice at the UN

Tamara Zaitseva, an activist of the REP Trade Union from Kalinkovichi, who was severely fined for a solidarity action, has lodged a complaint to the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Committee (HRC). The woman believes that Belarusian authorities have violated her rights to peaceful assembly and freedom of self-expression.

Her attempts to abolish the fine at the national level failed: the Minsk City Court, where the fine was challenged, upheld the first-instance's judgement.

In her complaint to the UN HRC, Tamara points out that the fine awarded to her is twice the size of her monthly pension; and the punishment itself is disproportionate to the offense.

"Even if I took part in a spontaneous rally by holding a white-red-white flag, state agents were obliged to evaluate my actions based primarily on our country's international obligations in the field of human rights, namely, to prove the expediency of the restrictions, imposed on my rights," says Tamara Zaitseva.

Leonid Sudalenko, a human rights defender and the legal inspector of the REP Trade Union, notes that after announcement of the verdict to trade union leaders Gennady Fedynich and Igor Komlik, actually a spontaneous peaceful assembly broke out near the courthouse.

"The national law in general does not provide for the procedure for holding, as in this case, spontaneous assemblies. Therefore, any spontaneous assembly a priori is considered illegal in our country. However, this is not the main problem. The main problem today is the complete disregard by the judiciary of the basic principles of human rights," the lawyer has emphasized.

Source: Gomelskaya Viasna" (Gomel Spring)

We remind you that the following documents concerning the "trade union case" are available in English and are sent out by the "REP News" on subscribers' requests:

  1. The concluding speech of the advocate Natalia Matskevich: "Whichever proof you take, it crumbles like sand"
  2. The full text of the verdict "In the name of the Republic of Belarus"
  3. The Appeal Complaint to the Judicial Panel on Criminal Cases of the Minsk City Court lodged by Lyudmila Kazak, the defender of Igor Komlik
  4. The appeal complaint lodged by Igor Komlik to the Judicial Board on Criminal Cases of the Minsk City Court
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