17 January 2018, Wednesday, 2:01

Hlybokaje residents demand that ban on pickets gets lifted

Four dozen residents of the district center town have signed under a collective letter to the Belarusian Council of Ministers.

In the letter to the authorities there is a request to initiate an appeal to the Constitutional Court in order to give assessment to the decision of the Hlybokaje district executive committee number 167 “On allocating venues for meetings and pickets” on the matter of its correspondence to the Constitution, the web-site of the Viasna human rights group reports.

“We could have collected more signatures, but it was not the main thing to us. We wanted to send a letter to the Council of Ministers in order to get a reaction to what is happening in our town of Hlybokaje. After the district executive committee adopted the resolution number 167 as of 13.02.2012 we have not been allowed to hold any public event, although we have applied to the executive committee 5 or 6 times since last October”, - a Hlybokaje activist Dzmitry Lupach says.

For the first time in October the activists got denied, because changes had been introduced to the district executive committee’s decision: venues were changed that the local authorities allocated for public events. But all the other conditions remained the same, which was the reason that it was impossible to hold an event in Hlybokaje, Lupach continues:

“In the executive committee’s resolution number 167 there is a paragraph, according to which along with the application for an event copies of the contracts should be submitted with communal services, police and a clinic. But without an authorization by the authorities no one would conclude such a contract. In the end it is a vicious circle with no way out. That is why in the letter to the Council of Ministers we are requesting that an appeal to the Constitutional Court be initiated so the resolution’s correspondence to the Constitution of the Republic of Belarus be checked – the main state document, which secures our rights”.

Dzmitry Lupach assumes that Hlybokaje authorities took the model of the Viciebsk city executive committee, when they were making up the text of the resolution: there a resolution, putting regulations on the procedure for organizing mass events with a paragraph on preliminary contracts, was adopted as early as in 2009.

Several weeks ago Viciebsk activists also sent a collective letter to the Council of Ministers in order to influence the city authorities so those introduce respective changes in the resolution. Not a single street public event, initiated by activists, has been authorized in Viciebsk in five years.

Previous attempts to push the city executive committee to reconsider its resolution were unsuccessful: all the institutions responded to the activists, saying that the resolution of the Viciebsk city executive committee number 881 as of 10.07.2009 had passed a legal expertise, been approved, which means it had been found valid.