The Human Rights Committee,
established under article 28 of the International Covenant on Civil and
Meeting on 30 July 2009,
Adopts the following:
DECISION ON ADMISSIBILITY
1.1 The author of the communication dated 29 September 2008 is Mr. S. B., a
Kyrgyz national and human rights defender, born in 1979. He claims to be a
victim of violation, by Kyrgyzstan, of his rights under article 2, paragraph
3 (a), and article 19, paragraph 2, of the International Covenant on Civil
and Political Rights. The author is not represented.
1.2 The Optional Protocol entered into force for the State party on 7
THE FACTS AS PRESENTED BY THE AUTHOR
2.1 In April 2007, the author requested the Legal Department of the Ministry
of Justice of Kyrgyzstan to provide him with information on the number of
death sentences pronounced in Kyrgyzstan between 9 November 2006 and 30
March 2007, as well as the names of the courts and the judges who had
imposed such sentences. The author explains that he wanted to obtain this
information because a new Constitution proclaiming the prohibition of death
penalty had been adopted on 9 November 2006. For him, "it was particularly
important to know" the number of persons sentenced to death penalty after
the death penalty was abolished under the new Constitution.
2.2 On 10 May 2007, the Legal Department refused to provide him the
requested information, on the basis that such statistics were produced for
internal use only. In May 2007 (exact date not provided), the author
complained against this refusal to the Bishkek Inter-district Court. On 13
September 2007, during the consideration of his case in court, the Legal
Department provided information on the general number of persons sentenced
to death penalty for the fourth quarter of 2006 and the first quarter of
2007. On 14 September 2007, the Bishkek Inter-district Court held that the
Legal Department had to satisfy the author's request partly, and had to
provide him with the information given by the Legal Department for the
fourth quarter of 2006 (7 death sentences) and the first quarter of 2007 (3
death sentences). The author declared that he was not satisfied, because his
request referred specifically to the period from 9 November 2006 to 30 March
2007, and he received no information on the courts that had handed down
death sentences. According to him, the Court's decision thus constituted de
facto a denial of his request for information.
2.3 On 23 October 2007, author's counsel filed an appeal against the Bishkek
Inter-district Court in the Bishkek City Court, requesting the Legal
Department to be obliged to provide comprehensive answer to his questions.
On 21 November 2007, the Bishkek City Court confirmed the decision of the
Bishkek Inter-district Court.
2.4 On 17 January 2008, the author's counsel submitted an application for
supervisory review with the Supreme Court, requesting the annulment of the
previous court decisions. On 10 April 2008, the Supreme Court upheld the
previous decisions in the author's case.
3. The author refers to article 14 of the Kyrgyz Constitution, pursuant to
which everyone has the right to "freely collect, store, and use information
and disseminate it orally, in written or any other form". He adds that on 23
January 2007, the Kyrgyz Parliament adopted a Law "On the access to
information available to governmental authorities and local-government
institutions". According to the provisions of this law, disclosure of
information classified only as "top secret", "secret", or "confidential" is
subject to restrictions. Information about death penalty sentences does not
fall under any of these categories, and thus the author's rights under
articles 2, paragraph 3 (a) and 19, paragraph 2, were violated by the State
ISSUES AND PROCEEDINGS BEFORE THE COMMITTEE
CONSIDERATION OF ADMISSIBILITY
4.1 Pursuant to rule 93 of its rules of procedure, before considering any
claim contained in a complaint, the Human Rights Committee must determine
whether it is admissible under the Optional Protocol to the Covenant on
Civil and Political Rights.
4.2 The Committee notes that in the present case, the author has sought
information from the Kyrgyz administration in relation to the exact number
of death sentences, by court, pronounced after the adoption, in 2006, of the
new Constitution abolishing the capital punishment. It notes that the author
has not explained why exactly he, personally, needed the information in
question; rather, he contended that this was a "matter of public interest".
Under these circumstances, and in the absence of any other pertinent
information, the Committee considers that the present communication
constitutes an actio popularis and that therefore it is inadmissible under
article 1 of the Optional Protocol.
5. The Human Rights Committee therefore decides:
(a) That the communication is inadmissible under article 1 of the Optional
(b) That the decision be transmitted to the State party and to the author.
[Adopted in English, French and Spanish, the English text being the original
version. Subsequently to be issued also in Arabic, Chinese and Russian as
part of the Committee's annual report to the General Assembly.]
Made public by decision of the Human Rights Committee.