Open Discussion of Social and Political Problems Prohibited
Paval Krasouski told the Human Rights Center “Viasna”, authorities of 12 towns of Minsk region prohibited organized discussions of social and political problems in Belarus. Members of the BPF Party and of civic initiative “Independent Republic of Zhodzina” Paval Krasouski, Siarzhuk Hudzilin, and Ales Mikhalevich filed 17 applications to local authorities requesting permission to hold conferences in order to discuss social and political problems in the society. The guys planned to invite Alexander Milinkevich as one of the speakers. Mass events were to take place in Zhodzina, Kletsk, Maladechna, Kopyl, Stoubtsy, Lahoisk, Slutsk, Valozhyn, Liuban, Niasvizh, Starya Darohi, Salihorsk, and other town of Minsk region.
Despite the appropriate application filed on time, the authorities prohibited the even in practically all towns of Minsk region. The organizers have not received replies from Barysau and Maladechna municipalities yet. However, they don’t doubt that the authorities will respond negatively.
Local municipalities ground their decisions mainly on the fact that event venues were in the area of 50 meters from administrative buildings. At the same time, the local authorities did not suggest any alternative venues. Obviously, the decision to prohibit the conferences was not made on the local level. The conferences were prohibited by a higher instance, such as Minsk regional executive committee. Despite of the ban, the conferences will still take place, but will change their format. A. Milinkevich will participate in the discussions.