View Adopted: 2019.07.25
The author is a Belarusian national who claims the state party has violated his rights under articles 2(1), 5(1), 14(1) and 19(2) of the Covenant when apprehending the author as he was distributing a news paper. The author was charged and convicted under domestic prohibitions for the distribution of a foreign publication (Russian registered newspaper).
The author alleged this violates his right to freedom to impart information and freedom of expression. The author also alleged that the domestic prohibitions are in violation of a state party's obligation to ensure the Covenant is reflected in domestic legislation.
The Committee found that any limitation to the freedoms of opinion and expression are only permissible to the extent that they are provided by law and only if they are necessary (a) for respect of the rights and reputation of others; or (b) for the protection of national security or public order (ordre public), or of public health or morals. In this case, the Committee found a violation of article 19(2) as the limitation did not pursue a legitimate aim.
Pursuant to article 2 (3) (a) of the Covenant, the Committee required Belarus to provide the author with an effective remedy, including to make full reparation to the author. Accordingly, the Committee required Belarus to:
The Committee required Belarus to take all aforementioned measures and update the Committee on progress made within 180 days, or 25 February 2020.