C.

Principal subjects of concern and recommendations
Issues pending from the previous reporting cycle
6.
The Committee notes the information provided by the State party on 23 October 2013
on the implementation of the recommendations contained in paragraphs 6, 11 and 14
of the Committee’s concluding observations on the fourth periodic report of Belarus
(CAT/C/BLR/CO/4), in which the State party was called upon to follow up on its previous
concluding observations by ensuring the provision, in practice, of fundamental legal
safeguards; independent investigations; and independent monitoring mechanisms of all
places of deprivation of liberty. The Committee regrets that the State party has not
implemented its follow up recommendations.
Fundamental legal safeguards
7.
While noting the specific provisions guaranteeing the basic legal safeguards from the
outset of apprehension, such as an access to a lawyer and a notification of a relative within
12 hours, and measures taken by the State party to introduce use of audio-visual, electronic
and other technical means in interrogation rooms of pre-trial detention facilities in 2016
(amendment of the Act on Detention Procedures and Conditions), the Committee remains
concerned as to the lack of full implementation of all fundamental legal safeguards in line
with paragraph 13 of the Committee’s general comment No.2 (2008) on implementation of
Article 2 (arts. 2, 11 and 12). In particular, the Committee is concerned about the following
issues:
(a)
The absence of a monitoring mechanism to assess whether all fundamental
legal safeguards were provided properly from the moment a person is apprehended;
(b)
That article 206 (3) of the Code of Criminal Procedure, which provides for the
possibility of medical examination of a detainee by a doctor or other specialist, if necessary,
does not guarantee an automatic mandatory and independent medical examination upon a
detainee’s request, in particular from the moment of detention in police custody, where many
allegations of torture and ill-treatment have been reported and that access to a doctor is left
instead to the discretion of the law-enforcement authorities. The Committee is also concerned
at information about the reported lack of confidentiality as well as deliberate delays in
conducting relevant medical examinations in police custody, leading to disappearance of
important evidence;
(c)
While appreciating that the Council of Ministers decision no. 909 of 20 July
2006 regulates the Unified State Offences Registration and Record-Keeping System, the
Committee is concerned at reports that the aforesaid regulation has not ensured in practice
prompt registration of all persons deprived of their liberty following apprehension and that
access of lawyers and relatives to that register has not been regularly guaranteed. The
Committee regrets the absence of data on administrative detention.
8.
The State party should ensure, in law and in practice, that all detainees are
afforded all fundamental legal safeguards from the outset of the deprivation of liberty
in accordance with international standards, including the safeguards mentioned in
paragraphs 13 and 14 of the Committee’s general comment No. 2 (2008) on the
implementation of article 2. In particular, it should:
(a)
Continue its efforts in ensuring the right to have prompt and confidential
access to an independent lawyer, or to free legal aid, when needed, and to
promptly contact a family member or any other person of their choice;
(b)
Ensure the right to request and receive a medical examination in
confidentiality by an independent doctor promptly, and unless the doctor explicitly
requests otherwise, ensure that it is conducted out of hearing and out of sight of police
staff, from the outset of the detention. The State party should guarantee in practice the
independence of doctors and other medical staff dealing with persons deprived of
liberty, ensure that they duly document all signs and allegations of torture or illtreatment and provide the results of the examination without delay to the appropriate

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