View Adopted: 2019.07.26
The author is a Belarusian national and a candidate in the 2010 presidential elections in Belarus. On the day of the election (19 December 2010) the author and other candidates organised a peaceful assembly at the October Square in Minsk to await the election results. On the way to the assembly, the author was stopped by road police and advised that they were going to search the vehicle. When supporters of the author tried to move the police car, 10-15 people dressed in black uniforms attacked the procession and ordered everyone to stay on the ground.
The author was hit with a rubber baton and rendered unconscious. He was later taken to a medical centre and diagnosed with contusion to the head and face. Following this, the author was taken to a detention facility where he was charged with organizing a mass disorder in violation of the Criminal Code.
The author alleges that the beatings inflicted were in violation of article 7 of the Covenant, and the failure to investigate was in violation of article 2(3)(a). He also claims violations of article 26 of the Covenant as well as article 9 (3) and article 14 (3) (b).
The Committee noted that on the basis that the police officers failed to protect the author from the attack, and indeed took orders from the attackers, their actions constituted a violation of article 7.
The fact that the state party did not conduct a prompt investigation into the attacks also constituted a violation of article 2(3) read in conjunction with article 7.
Furthermore the Committee considers the author’s allegation that his detention was sanctioned by a prosecutor and not by a judge is contrary to the article 9 (3).
On the basis of article 2(3) of the Covenant, the state party is under an obligation to provide an effective remedy to the author. The Committee therefore required Belarus to:
make full reparation to individuals whose Covenant rights have been violated;
conduct a thorough and effective investigation into the author’s allegations of beatings on 19 December 2010 and prosecute, try and punish those responsible for the attack on the author;
take appropriate steps toprovide the author with adequate compensation and take steps to prevent similar violations occurring in the future;
publish the present Views and to have them widely disseminated in the official languages of the State party.
The Committee required Belarus to take all aforementioned measures and update the Committee on progress made within 180 days, or 26 January 2020.