New human rights group in Homel

Over 20 residents of Homel join local human rights activists to stand up for their rights. Althought the UN Human Rights Committee confirmed their rights were violated, the Belarusian authorities do not rush to meet the recommendations of the world's highest human rights authority. Uladzimir Syakerka, head of Homel regional branch of Fair World party, says there is a need for a special organization that would help those supported by the UN Human Rughts Committee but not recognized by the Belarusian authorities. 

Syakerka: "We wish to invite those people whose rights were violated but the authorities made no reaction."   

The UN Human Rights Committee is probably the only international mechanism left available for Belarusians to defend their civil and political rights. But, just few are aware of this opportunity. The organizers of the regional human rights organization want to inform Belarusians about their legitimate rights. "If the Ministry of Justice registers their initiative, regional offices could pop up in districts. If registration is denied, Homel activists will have to take a more difficult path and act in the framework of Belarusian Helsinki Committee," says Uladzimir Syakerka.

Syakerka: "The Belarusian Helsinki Committee is a registered organization and we will work with them if we don't get registered. We could set up a special unit for the victims of human rights violations who later approached the United Nations." 

The would-be human rights organization will help the victims of legal violence to file collective appeals, for example. Hopefully, it will make the state listen to their citizens rather than point to the legally non-binding UN recommendations, hopes Uladzimir Syakerka.

Over the past 15 years, only 34 out of 130 appeals filed by Belarus citizens with the UN Human Rights Committee have been recognized as legitimate. In Homel, 22 people filed 44 complaints, and 12 out of them were supported by the United Nations rights body.

This rubric was prepared specially for human rights weekly program "Cardiogram" on Euroradio.