Detained Babariko appealed to the UN Human Rights Committee

Viktor Babariko, a participant of the campaign for the election of the President of Belarus, former head of Belgazprombank, imprisoned in the pretrial detention facility of the State Security Committee, appealed to the UN Human Rights Committee.

“The report of Viktor Babariko includes a request for urgent measures, namely for the Human Rights Committee (UN – Ed.) to express a request to the state not to prevent him from participating in the presidential election so that he could effectively exercise his rights as a candidate, including access to the media, voters and members of his staff,” said lawyers Natalia Matskevich and Dmitri Laevski.

They pointed out that the UN Human Rights Committee confirmed the registration of their individual communication, submitted on behalf of Babariko. The former head of Belgazprombank complained about violation of Article 9 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights in the form of unjustified detention and imprisonment.

“Becoming a party to the First Optional Protocol in the Covenant in 1992, the Republic of Belarus recognized the competence of the Human Rights Committee to receive and consider communications from individuals who claim that their rights under the Covenant have been violated by the state,” recalled the lawyers.

The UN Committee noted that Babariko’s appeal was received on July 6, while the individual communication was assigned registration number 3788/2020.

As of July 13, the Human Rights Committee requested information from Belarus on whether the State had properly assessed the risks that detention would prevent the complainant from exercising his political rights in the upcoming presidential elections. The information should be provided to the Committee by 22 July.

Earlier that day the CEC of Belarus refused to register Babariko as a presidential candidate.

The charges against the candidate and his son became known on June 22nd. Babariko senior is accused of money laundering on a large scale. He is also accused of tax evasion and bribery.

Viktor and Eduard Babariko have been in jail since June 19. Prior to their detention, the main building of Belgazprombank was searched on June 11. Two criminal cases of tax evasion and money laundering were initiated. Seven days later Babariko’s house was searched, and he and his son were taken for questioning. About 20 people were detained in this case, many of them called Viktor Babariko the author of the criminal scheme.