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Belyazeka v Belarus, UN Human Rights Committee Communication No. 1772/2008

GE.12-43278
Human Rights Committee
Communication No. 1772/2008
Views adopted by the Committee at its 104th session,
12 to 30 March 2012
Submitted by: Syargei Belyazeka (not represented by counsel)
Alleged victim: The author
State party: Belarus
Date of communication: 23 February 2008 (initial submission)
Document references: Special Rapporteur‟s rule 97 decision,
transmitt ed to the State party on 20 March 2008
(not issued in document form)
Date of adoption of Views: 23 March 2012
Subject matter: Breaking up a peaceful assembly aimed at
commemorating the victims of the Stalinist
repressions in violation of the right to ex press
opinions and the right to hold a peaceful
assembly without unreasonable restrictions.
Substantive issues: Right to freedom of expression; permissible
restrictions; right to peaceful assembly.
Procedural issue: None
Articles of the Covenant: 19, para graph 2; 21
Article of the Optional Protocol: None
United Nations CCPR /C/104/D/1772/2008

International Covenant on
Civil and Political R ights
Distr.: General
6 June 2012

Original: English

CCP R/C/104/D/1772/2008
2
Annex
Views of the Human Rights Committee under article 5,
paragraph 4, of the Optional Protocol to the International
Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (104th session)
concerning
Communication N o. 1772/2008 *
Submitted by: Syargei Belyazeka (not represented by counsel)
Alleged victim : The author
State party: Belarus
Date of communication: 23 February 2008 (initial submission)
The Human Rights Committee , established under article 28 of the Interna tional
Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,
Meeting on 23 March 2012,
Having concluded its consideration of communication No. 1772/2008, submitted to
the Human Rights Committee by Syargei Belyazeka under the Optional Protocol to the
International Cove nant on Civil and Political Rights,
Having taken into account all written information made available to it by the author
of the communication and the State party,
Adopts the following :
Views under article 5, paragraph 4, of the Optional Protocol
1. The author of the communication is Syargei Belyazeka, a Belarusian national born
in 1974, residing in Vitebsk, Belarus. He claims to be a victim of violations by Belarus of
article 19, paragraph 2, and article 21 of the International Covenant on Civil and Pol itical
Rights. The Optional Protocol entered into force for the State party on 30 December 1992.
The author is unrepresented.
Factual background
2.1 On 30 October 2007, the author , together with 30 other inhabitants of Vitebsk whose
relatives perished in the Stalinist camps in Soviet Russia , took part in a commemoration
service . A ccording to the author, a ll those who took part in the commemoration shared the
view that the communist (Stalinist) regime was repressive and aimed at the suppression of
politica l pluralism in Soviet society. Therefore, participation in the commemoration was a

* The following members of the Committee participated in the examination of the present
communication: Lazhari Bouzid, Christine Chanet, Ahmad Amin Fathalla, Cornel is Flinterman, Yuji
Iwasawa, Walter Kaelin, Zonke Zanele Majodina, Gerald L. Neuman, Michael O ‟Flaherty, Rafael
Rivas Posada, Nigel Rodley, Fabian Omar Salvioli, Marat Sarsembayev, Krister Thelin and Margo
Waterval.

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3
way for the author and other participants to collectively express their negative attitude to
the violent suppression of all types of dissent. The commemoration was intended to include
a visit to the location in the proximity of Polyai village where some of the victims of
political repressions had been executed, as well as two cemeteries close to Voroni and
Kopti villages, the laying of wreaths and the erection of a cross.
2.2 When the participants arrived at the parking lot next to the venue for the
commemoration in Polyai village, police officers demanded that the commemoration be
stopped, as in the opinion of the Deputy Head of the Vitebsk District Department of
Internal Af fairs, it was an unauthorized mass event, i.e. a “picket ”. The participants refused
to stop and were allowed to carry out the commemoration . When, however, they boarded a
bus to continue to Voroni and Kopti villages, the Deputy Head of the Vitebsk District
Department of Internal Affairs entered the bus and announced that he was breaking up the
commemoration and that all the bus passengers were being detained as participants at an
unauthorized mass event ( “picket ”). The participants, including the author, ex pressed their
disagreement with this decision but obeyed the order.
2.3 The author, together with the other participants, was transported to the Vitebsk
District Department of Internal Affairs on the bus, where an administrative protocol in
relation to th e author was drawn up. He was accused of committ ing an administrative
offence under article 23.34, part 3, of the Code on Administrative Offences (violation of the
established procedure for organizing or conducting a mass event or a “picket ”).
2.4 On 31 Oc tober 2007, a judge of the Vitebsk District Court found the author guilty of
having committed an administrative offence under article 23.34, part 3, of the Code on
Administrative Offences and ordered him to pay a fine of 620 ,000 Belarusian roubles ( 20
base line value units ).1 The author challenged in court the legal definition of his actions,
since, inter alia , he did not display any flags and the commemoration took place in
wood land and not in a public place. The court referred to article 2 of the Law on Ma ss
Events of 30 December 1997, according to which:
a “ picket ” is a public expression by a citizen or by a group of citizens of
public and political, group or individual and other interests or the protest
(without a procession), including by hunger strike, on any issues , with or
without the use of posters, banners and other materials.
The Vitebsk District Court concluded that, by actively taking part in a mass event in a
public place and, in particular, by holding unfurled flags and a cross for a long period of
time on the parking lot with the other participants at the mass event, the author publicly
expressed his personal and other interests.
2.5 On 8 November 2007, the author filed a cassation appeal with the Vitebsk Regional
Court against the ruling of 31 October 2007. In his appeal, the author stated that the Vitebsk
District Court had erred in the legal definition of his actions. Specifically, the author
submitted that he had not display ed any poster s, banner s or other propaganda materials and,
therefo re, could not publicly express any group, individual or other interests or protest.
Even if he did take part in an unauthorized mass event ( “picket ”), article 23.34 of the Code
on Administrative Offences proscribes a violation of the established procedure for the
organization or holding of a mass event or of a “picket ”, it does not penalize mere
participation in a mass event of this type . Moreover, from 28 October 2007 to 3 November
2007, Christians in Belarus were observing the autumn day of the dead : the exercise of
religious rites is not governed by Belarus laws. Lastly, the author claimed that the
commemoration in which he took part was a peaceful citizens‟ gathering. They did not pose

1 Approximately US$ 288.4/202.9 euros.

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a threat to national security, public safety, public order, the prote ction of public health,
morals or rights and freedoms of others. Therefore, his right to peaceful assembly as
guaranteed by the Belarus Constitution and by the international obligations of Belarus was
violated.
2.6 On 28 November 2007, a judge of the Vite bsk Regional Court rejected the author‟s
appeal. The court referred to the Law on Mass Events, 2 which required participants at the
commemoration to apply for the competent State authorities‟ permission to hold a mass
event. According to the author‟s cassat ion appeal, no such application was submitted in the
present case. Furthermore, article 23.34 of the Code on Administrative Offences provides
for the administrative liability of an individual who repeatedly breaches the established
procedure of organizatio n or holding of a mass event or of a “picket ” within a year after he
or she ha s already been subjected to an administrative penalty for the same offence. The
Vitebsk Regional Court noted that, on an earlier occasion , on 27 April 2007, the author had
been f ound guilty of committ ing an administrative offence under article 23.34, part 1, of the
Code on Administrative Offences and ordered him to pay a fine of 155 ,000 Belarusian
roubles .3
2.7 On 21 December 2007, the author appealed the rulings of the Vitebsk Di strict Court
and the Vitebsk Regional Court to the Supreme Court under the supervisory review
procedure. In his appeal, the author reiterated his argument that article 23.34 of the Code on
Administrative Offences provides for administrative liability only for a violation of the
established procedure of organizing or holding a mass action ( “picket ”) and not for mere
participation there in. He, however, had merely participated in the commemoration and was
neither among its organizers nor leading it . The Deputy Chair of the Supreme Court
dismissed the author‟s appeal on 4 February 2008. The Supreme Court took into account
that the author had previously been the subject of an administrative penalty under article
23.34, part 1, of the Code on Administrative Offenc es and determined that the lower courts
had correctly defined his actions under part 3 of the same article.
The complaint
3.1 The author submits that his detention by the police on 30 October 2007 in the course
of the commemoration interfered with his ri ght to freedom of expression, as guaranteed by
article 19, paragraph 2, of the Covenant. The author maintains that he did not display any
flags, posters or other propaganda materials, as shown in the video recording presented by
the police as proof of his guilt. Therefore, his acts were wrongly defined by the court as a
mass event.
3.2 The author also submits that the commemoration was never intended to be a
political, social or economic action and, for that reason, its participants did not request
autho rization for the organization of a mass event from the competent authorities. The
commemoration in which he took part was a peaceful citizens‟ gathering, and the
participants‟ actions neither impaired the rights and freedoms of others, nor resulted in
dama ge to citizens‟ or municipal property. According to the author, the authorities had not
present ed any facts disclosing a breach of national security or of public order during the
commemoration, and thereby endorsed its peaceful nature . Neither did they pro vide any
documentary evidence of threats to the life and health of individuals, to their morals or

2 See article 5 of the Law on Mass Events (a pplication for holding a mass event ); article 6 (procedure
for consideration of the application and passing the decision thereon) ; article 7 (appealing the decision
on banning the hold ing of the mass event or on changing the date, place and time thereof) .
3 Approximately US$ 72.3 /53.6 euros.

CCPR/C/104/D/1772/2008
5
breaches of their rights and freedoms. Therefore, the author claims that the State Party has
also violated his right to peaceful assembly under article 21 of the Covenant.
The State party’s observations on admissibility and merits
4.1 By note verbale of 20 May 2008, the State party submitted its observations on the
admissibility and merits of the communication. It confirms that, on 31 October 2007, a
judge o f the Vitebsk District Court found the author guilty of having committed an
administrative offence under article 23.34, part 3, of the Code on Administrative Offences
and ordered him to pay a fine of 20 base line value units . The court had valid reasons for
determining that the author, on 30 October 2007 at 12.30 p.m., took part in a public
expression of personal and other interests at the parking lot on the Vitebsk –Liozno
motorway in the proximity of Polyai village, without regard for the procedure for
cond ucting mass events established by the Law on Mass Events. His participation in the
said mass event was corroborated by witness statements and the video recording of the
event that took place on 30 October 2007.
4.2 The State party submits that the conduct of the said mass event ha d not been
authori zed by either the head or deputy head of the local executive body. It adds that the
Law on Mass Events aims at creating the conditions for the exercise of the constitutional
rights and freedoms of citizens , and c ompliance with the Law serves as a guarantee for the
protection of public safety and order in the course of such mass events. The State party
concludes that the author‟s claims, alleging a violation of his constitutional rights and the
international obliga tions of Belarus , are unfounded.
Author’s comments on the State party’s observations
5.1 On 2 July 2008, the author commented on the State party‟s observations. He notes
that under article 2, paragraph 2, of the Covenant, Belarus undertook to adopt suc h legal
and legislative measures as may be necessary to ensure exercise of their rights by
individuals subject to its jurisdiction. The author submits that article 33 of the Constitution
guarantees freedom of thought , opinion and freedom of expression to e veryone , while
article 35 of the Constitution establishes that the “freedom to hold assemblies, meetings,
street marches, demonstrations and „pickets ‟ that do not disturb law and order or violate the
rights of other citizens of Belarus, shall be guaranteed by the State. The procedure for
holding the above -mentioned events shall be determined by law. ” He states that these rights
can be exercised by a citizen of Belarus under any circumstances, subject to the restrictions
that are provided in law and are nece ssary in a democratic society in the interests of
national security or public safety, public order, the protection of public health or morals or
the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.
5.2 The author reiterates his argument that, at the time o f his detention and in court, he
was not accused of encroaching upon national security or public safety by his actions. Nor
was he accused of breaching public order or making threats to the life and health of
individuals, to their morals or in breach of th eir rights and freedoms. The author submits
that he was fined for the mere fact of taking part in a “picket ”, which reportedly was
organi zed without regard for the procedure for conducting mass events.
5.3 The author recalls that article 23.34 of the Code on Administrative Offences does
not proscribe mere participation in a mass event. He adds that, at the time of his detention
and in court, it was not established that he either organi zed or led the commemoration .
Therefore, as a mere participant in the ev ent , he should not have been taken away from the
venue and subjected to an administrative penalty. The author explains that by taking him
away from the commemoration , the State party‟s authorities deprived him of the right to
peaceful assembly. The peacefu lness of the assembly is demonstrated by its aim of paying
tribute to the victims of the Stalinist repressions . The peaceful nature of the

CCP R/C/104/D/1772/2008
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commemoration has not been disputed by the police officers who detained the author, the
State party‟s courts that hav e examined his case or by the State party in its observations to
the Committee.
5.4 The author submits that by breaking up the commemoration , the State party‟s
authorities also deprived him of the right to freedom of expression. He recalls that he did
not display any poster s, flag s, banner s or other propaganda materials and that the only way
in which he expressed his opinion about past political repression was to take part in the
event . The author adds that he deliberately chose this way of expressing his o pinion,
because it did not pose any threat to national security or public safety, public order, public
health or morals or the rights and freedoms of others. The author asserts, therefore, that his
rights under article 19, paragraph 2, and article 21 of th e Covenant have been violated.
Further submissions from the State party
6.1 By note verbale of 11 December 2008, the State party submits that the author‟s
claims concerning the unlawfulness of subjecting him to administrative liability under
article 23.3 4, part 3, of the Code on Administrative Offences are unfounded. The State
party explains that, further to the requirement of article 35 of the Constitution, the Law on
Mass Events established the procedure for holding such events in order to create the
conditions for the exercise of the constitutional rights and freedoms of citizens, as well as to
ensure public safety and public order in the course of such mass events.
6.2 The State party argues that in his comments the author does not dispute the fact th at
he took part in the mass event on 30 October 2007, which he describes as a peaceful
assembly, i.e. the commemoration . At the same time, the event in question took place at the
parking lot , which was not intended for such purposes and then on the Vitebsk -Liozno
motorway with the use of white /red /white flags. Flag s of this colour combination, however,
are not the official State symbol of Belarus.
6.3 The State party submits that the courts have correctly determined that the author
took part in a “picket ”, a definition of which is contained in article 2 of the Law on Mass
Events. This conclusion is supported by the fact that a number of individuals took part in
the event, that they used symbols that were not the official State symbols of Belarus and
that the y intended to erect crosses in arbitrary locations . Furthermore, the said actions were
accompanied by public statements.
6.4 The State party also points out that, contrary to the requirements of the Law on Mass
Events, the “picket ” of 30 October 2007 was not authori zed. For this reason, police officers
who arrived at the venue of the mass event indicated to the participants that they should
stop it. This demand was not complied with. Therefore, the courts correctly determined that
the author took part in a “picket ” in violation of the established procedure for the conduct
thereof . Since the author had committed a similar administrative offence less than a year
before , having taken part in a “picket ” on 30 October 2007, this time he was found guilty
under ar ticle 23.34, part 3, of the Code on Administrative Offences.
6.5 The State party concludes by saying that the desire of a group of citizens to hold a
mass event or to take part in it should not infringe the rights and freedoms of others. All
persons are equal before the law and the State guarantees the protection of its citizens, inter
alia, through ensuring compliance with the provisions of the Law on Mass Events.
Further submissions from the author
7.1 On 23 January 2009, the author submits that the State party‟s authorities have not
adduced any additional arguments in support of their claim that he did not have the right to
take part in a peaceful assembly, i.e. the commemoration , or to publicly express his opinion
about the political repression in Soviet Russia . He adds that in its observations the State

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party has acknowledged that (1) the commemoration took place where the execution of the
victims of political repressions was carried out; (2) the event was a peaceful assembly; (3)
the commemoration took place in a rural area ; (4) the symbols used by the participants
(white /red /white flags and wooden crosses) have not been proscribed either by the law or
courts; (5) the public statements did not contain any calls for the overthrow of government,
the organi zation of mass riots or other unlawful action; (6) the State party‟s authorities
(police officers) interfered with the peaceful assembly and expression of their opinion by
the participants; (7) there is no information that the commemoration resulted in the
infliction of moral suffering or bodily injuries to anyone; and (8) no individuals whose
rights were infringed by the commemoration have been identified.
7.2 The author states that the commemoration took place in woodland where the
execution of the victims of political repression was carried out and not at the parking lot or
on the motorway. He notes that the State party‟s authorities have failed to identify the
organi zers of the event and instead have randomly punished selected participants of the
commemoration. The author reiterates his argument that, by taking part in a peaceful
assembly, he had legitimately expressed his opinion about the political repression that took
place during the Stalinist regime. Consequently, the police officers‟ demand that the
commemoration be stopped was not aimed at suppressing the author‟s unlawful actions but
rather at depriving him of the right to peaceful assembly and the right to freedom of
expression.
Additional submissions from the State party
8.1 By note ver bale of 25 May 2009, the State party reiterates its earlier arguments ,
summari zed in paragraphs 6.2 -6.5 above , and adds that article 19, paragraph 3, of the
Covenant provides for the possibility to subject the exercise of the rights provided for in
paragra ph 2 of this article to certain restrictions. Article 21 of the Covenant guarantees the
right of peaceful assembly. No restrictions may be placed on the exercise of this right other
than those imposed in conformity with the law and which are necessary in a democratic
society in the interests of national security or public safety, public order, the protection of
public health or morals or the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.
8.2 The State party argues that Belarus has implemented provisions o f the Covenant,
including articles 19 and 21 thereof, into its national legislation. 4 At the same time, article
23 of the Constitution allows for restrictions upon personal rights and freedoms but only in
the instances specified by law, in the interest of national security, public order, protection of
public health and morals , as well as of the rights and freedoms of other persons.
Additional submissions from the author
9. On 21 July 2009, the author submit ted that his political opinions in general differ
from those of the current establishment in Belarus and that he has been punished on
numerous occasions for taking part in peaceful assemblies and expressing his views. He
concludes that in violation of article 2, paragraph 1, of the Covenant, the State pa rty has
failed to take the necessary measures to ensure exercise of his right of peaceful assembly
and the right to freedom of expression due to his political and other opinion s and, in
particular, his negative attitude to the Stalinist repressions in Sovi et Russia . The author,
therefore, respectfully requests the Committee to determine that his rights under article 19,
paragraph 2, and article 21 of the Covenant have been violated.

4 Reference is made to articles 33 and 35 of the Constitution.

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Issues and proceedings before the Committee
Consideration of admissibi lity
10.1 Before considering any claim contained in a communication, the Human Rights
Committee must, in accordance with rule 93 of its rules of procedure, decide whether or not
the case is admissible under the Optional Protocol to the Covenant.
10.2 The C ommittee has ascertained, as required under article 5, paragraph 2(a), of the
Optional Protocol, that the same matter is not being examined under another procedure of
international investigation or settlement. In the absence of any objection by the State p arty,
the Committee considers that the requirements of article 5, paragraph 2(b), of the Optional
Protocol have been met.
10.3 The Committee considers that the author‟s claims under article 19, paragraph 2, and
article 21 of the Covenant are sufficiently s ubstantiated, for purposes of admissibility,
declares them admissible and proceeds to their examination on the merits.
Consideration of the merits
11.1 The Human Rights Committee has considered the communication in the light of all
the information made a vailable to it by the parties, as provided for under article 5,
paragraph 1, of the Optional Protocol.
11.2 The Committee notes the author‟s claim that, by breaking up, on 30 October 2007,
the commemoration to honour the victims of the Stalinist repression s in Soviet Russia , the
State party‟s authorities violated his right to freedom of expression under article 19,
paragraph 2, of the Covenant, since he was taken away from the commemoration and
subsequently fined 620 ,000 Belarusian roubles for publicly expr essing personal and other
interests during the unauthori zed “picket ”. It further notes the State party‟s contention that
the author was subjected to administrative liability under article 23.34, part 3, of the Code
on Administrative Offences for having bre ached the procedure for organizing and holding
mass events.
11.3 The first issue before the Committee is whether or not the application of article
23.34, part 3, of the Code on Administrative Offences to the author‟s case, resulting in the
termination of the commemoration and the subsequent fine, constituted a restriction within
the meaning of article 19, paragraph 3, on the author‟s right to freedom of expression. The
Committee notes that article 23.34, part 3 , of the Code on Administrative Offences
estab lishes administrative liability for violation of the established procedure for organi zing
or conducting a mass event. It also notes that since the State party imposed a “procedure for
holding mass events ”, it effectively established restrictions regarding the exercise of the
freedom to impart information, guaranteed by article 19, paragraph 2, of the Covenant. 5
11.4 The second issue is, therefore, whether in the present case such restrictions are
justified under article 19, paragraph 3, of the Covenant, i.e. are provided by law and
necessary: (a) for respect of the rights or reputations of others; and (b) for the protection of
national security or of public order ( ordre public ), or of public health or morals. The
Committee recalls that freedom of opinion and freedom of expression are indispensable
conditions for the full development of the person, that they are essential for any society, and
that they constitute the foundation stone for every free and democratic society. 6 Any
restrictions on their exercise mu st conform to the strict tests of necessity and proportionality

5 Communication No. 780/1997, Laptsevich v. Belarus , Views adopted on 20 March 2000, para. 8.1.
6 See Human Rights Committee general comment No. 34 (2011) on article 19, Freedoms of opinion
and expression, para. 2.

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9
and “must be applied only for those purposes for which they were prescribed and must be
directly related to the specific need on which they are predicated.” 7
11.5 The Committee observes that, in the present case, the State party has argued that the
provisions of the Law on Mass Events are aimed at creating the conditions for the exercise
of the constitutional rights and freedoms of citizens and the protection of public safety and
public order i n the course of such mass events. The Committee also observes that the author
has argued that article 23.34 of the Code on Administrative Offences does not apply to him,
since it does not provide for administrative liability for mere participation in a mas s event.
Furthermore, since such commemorations are not governed by Belarus ian laws, the
participants at the commemoration that took place on 30 October 2007 did not request
authorization for the organization of a mass event from the competent authorities. In this
regard, the Committee notes that the author and the State party disagree on whether the
commemoration in question constituted a “mass event ” that was subject to the “procedure
for holding mass events ” established by the Law on Mass Events, whether article 23.34 of
the Code on Administrative Offences proscribes mere participation in a mass event and
whether the author displayed any flag s, or other symbols or propaganda materials.
11.6 Even if the sanctions imposed on the author were permitted under national law, the
Committee notes that the State party has not advanced any argument as to why they were
necessary for one of the legitimate purposes set out in article 19, paragraph 3, of the
Covenant, and what dangers would have been created by the auth or‟s publicly expressing
his negative attitude to the Stalinist repressions in Soviet Russia . The Committee concludes
that in the absence of any pertinent explanations from the State party, the restrictions on the
exercise of the author‟s right to freedom of expression cannot be deemed necessary for the
protection of national security or of public order ( ordre public ) or for respect for the rights
or reputations of others. The Committee therefore finds that the author‟s rights under article
19, paragraph 2, of the Covenant have been violated in the present case.
11.7 The Committee further notes the author‟s claim that his right to freedom of assembly
under article 21 of the Covenant was violated, since he was arbitrarily prevented from
holding a peaceful ass embly. In this context, the Committee recalls that the rights and
freedoms set forth in article 21 of the Covenant are not absolute but may be subject to
limitations in certain situations. The second sentence of article 21 of the Covenant requires
that no restrictions may be placed on the exercise of the right to peaceful assembly other
than those imposed (1) in conformity with the law and (2) which are necessary in a
democratic society in 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. 8
11.8 In the present case, the Committee must consider whether the restrictions imposed
on the author’s right to freedom of assembly are justif ied under any of the criteria set out in
the second sentence of article 21 of the Covenant. The Committee notes the State party‟s
assertion that the restrictions were in accordance with the law. However, the State party has
not provided any information as to how, in practice, commemorating the victims of the
Stalinist repressions would violate 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 freedo ms of others as set out in article 21 of the Covenant. Accordingly, the Committee
concludes that in the present case, the State party has also violated the author‟s right under
article 21 of the Covenant.

7 Ibid., para. 22.
8 See communication No. 1604/2007, Zalesskaya v. Belarus , Views adopted 28 March 2011, para.
10.6.

CCP R/C/104/D/1772/2008
10
12. The Human Rights Committee, acting under articl e 5, paragraph 4, of the Optional
Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, is of the view that the
facts before it disclose a violation by Belarus of article 19, paragraph 2, and article 21 of the
Covenant.
13. Pursuant to arti cle 2, paragraph 3 (a), of the Covenant , the State party is under an
obligation to provide the author with an effective remedy, including reimbursement of the
value of the fine as at October 2007 , any legal costs incurred by the author and
compensation. Th e State party is also under an obligation to take steps to prevent similar
violations in the future.
14. Bearing in mind that, by becoming a party to the Optional Protocol, the State party
has recognized the competence of the Committee to determine whether there has been a
violation of the Covenant or not and that, pursuant to article 2 of the Covenant, the State
party has undertaken to ensure to all individuals within its territory or subject to its
jurisdiction the rights recognized in the Covenant and to provide an effective and
enforceable remedy in case a violation has been established, the Committee wishes to
receive from the State party, within 180 days, information about the measures taken to give
effect to the Committee’s Views. The State party is a lso requested to publish the present
Views, and to have them widely disseminated in Belarusian and Russian in the State party.
[Adopted in English, French and Spanish, the English text being the original version.
Subsequently to be issued also in Arabic, C hinese and Russian as part of the Committee’s
annual report to the General Assembly.]

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