ICCPR Case Digest




Submission: 2016.01.28

View Adopted: 2022.03.24

Y. Belsky v. Belarus

Refusal of Belarusian authorities to authorize a meeting was found a violation of freedom of expression

Substantive Issues
  • Fair trial
  • Freedom of assembly
  • Freedom of expression
Relevant Articles
  • Article 14.1
  • Article 19.2
  • Article 2 - OP1
  • Article 21
  • Article 3 - OP1
  • Article 5.2 (b) - OP1
Full Text


The author of the communication is Yury Belsky, a Belarussian national who claims that his rights to freedom of expression and of assembly have been restricted, in violation of articles 19 (2) and 21 of the Covenant, as he was denied authorization to organize a peaceful picket for the protection of the rights of consumers. The authorization was refused after the author could not get the medical services required for mass events. The author also claims a violation of article 14 (1) of the Covenant, noting that the courts he appealed the decision to were unfair, biased and not competent, and that their decisions were influenced.


Regarding the author’s claim that his rights under article 14 (1) of the Covenant have been violated because the domestic courts were unfair, the Committee considers that the author has failed to sufficiently substantiate that claim for purposes of admissibility and concludes that this part of the communication is inadmissible under article 2 of the Optional Protocol. The Committee considered the remaining claims under  articles 19 (2) and 21 of the Covenant substantiated for the purposes of admissibility.


The Committee notes that neither the Polotsk District Executive Committee nor the domestic courts have provided any justification or explanation as to how, in practice, the author’s picket would have violated the interests of national security or public safety, public order (ordre public), the protection of public health or morals or the protection of the rights and freedoms of others, as set out in article 21 of the Covenant. In the absence of any further explanations by the State party, the Committee concludes that the State party has violated the author’s rights under article 21 of the Covenant.


The State party is obligated to provide the author with adequate compensation. The State party is also under an obligation to take all steps necessary to prevent similar violations from occurring in the future. In that connection, the Committee notes that it has dealt with similar cases in respect of the same laws and practices of the State party in a number of earlier communications and thus the State party should revise its normative framework on public events, consistent with its obligation under article 2 (2), with a view to ensuring that the rights under articles 19 and 21 of the Covenant may be fully enjoyed in the State party.


Deadline for implementation: 24 October 2022</p>

By: Irene Aparicio

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