24 May 2018, Thursday, 8:55
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Jauhen Lipkovich on Decree No. 1: Who Did Go Nuts?

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"Spongers" can countersue the authorities.

In early April it became known who would be considered a "sponger" in accordance with Lukashenka decree, and the way citizens to be recognized as "unemployed in the economy".

"I hope that people will start suing the government under Article 190," the famous Minsk blogger Jauhen Lipkovich told Charter97.org commenting on details of Decree № 1 recently announced by the authorities:

- I wonder why the Prosecutor's Office still fails to engage in it. The law on the Prosecutor's Office says it can declare this a protest. In order to prevent the wrongdoing. Because paragraphs of Decree No. 1 fall under the Criminal Code. I mean Article 190 "Discrimination".

In this case, we deal with discrimination against employed and unemployed citizens. The fact that they will experience different tariff rates for housing and communal services is the violation of the law. I am not interested in how the authorities try to apply rates for families with a person unemployed. I wonder what they will do if they face a countersue under Article 190.

It requires legal response. Leanid Sudalenka has already told about it. And I join this position.

- According to the decree, foreigners who reside in Belarus for more than six months can also become "spongers". How could you comment on it?

- If we ignore the idiocy of the decree, it makes some sense. If there had been no mess with this "sponger" decree, a foreigner who resided in the country for more than 180 days should have been registered in the tax authorities. But the paradox is that we only have an agreement with Russia, which allows residing for more than 180 without any special permission. All the rest have the right for 90 days of legal stay within 6 months.

But this does not cancel the very idiocy of the decree and things related to its adoption.

- What do you think is the most scandalous option of Decree No. ?

- It is that decisions made by such commissions are not subject to appeal. It's a real surprise! What is that? . I can't understand that. Do we have courts? Will courts renounce sues against illegal activity of these commissions?

What is going on in their brains? The thing I know for sure is that the decree is a discriminatory measure. Its text must be studied by the Prosecutor's Office.

- What should people living abroad do? After all, no everyone can arrive and prove his employment there...

- It is outrageous! I refuse to accept it. Does the legal system work in the country? Who did go nuts there?

It happens for the first time. Who do these commissions of provincial officials think they are? This is a sacred inquisition. It would be better to revive "troikas" at once. Today they decide who is a "sponger", tomorrow they decide who is subject to execution.

Joking aside, the more powers commissions have, so much the worse for them. We should ignore them, especially if we reside abroad. I offer the Prosecutor's Office to be engaged.

At least I may arrive, but they should pay me a subsistence allowance. Or to cover my expenses for the trip. Why should I do it on my own? And then I will be subject to pay much more for rent bills. After all, prices for housing and communal utilities are too opaque.

- For example, children of official Viktar Sheiman live and study abroad. Will they have to arrive to stand before the commission?

- I can only welcome the fact that officials' children study abroad. Here a question arises: whether they are going to return at all. If we put the issue this way, then the problem with it will cease to exist.

- What can the exercise of Decree No. 1 result in?

- In 2017 it caused mass protests. Perhaps, it was caused not only with Decree No. 3. People were sick and tired.

This factor remains. The protest has no focus. Future depends on those who are involved in active political protests, on their ability to mobilize these sentiments. Why not? The reaction to Decree No. 1 may even be more severe than that to Decree No. 3. Everything may happen.

A year ago litigations against decree on "spongers", which people managed to win, were followed by street protests. If such precedents occur, it may promote rallies. Legal battles in courts will be able to spur public protests. That's what I think.