Tovarishch Has Right to Opinion
According to Charter’97
On 4 October the court of Leninski Borough of Minsk turned up the suit of Ihar Verkhavets, chair of the Capital Taxiassociation to the non-state newspaper Tovarishch. He considers the article We’ve Driven to Serfdom insulting to his honor and dignity. This article told the readers that in connection with the ruling of Minsk Transport Company about limitation of the age of the cars that could be used as taxis drivers couldn’t change the place of employment. In private, Mr Verkhavets was affected by the phrase: ‘It is a widespread opinion among taxi drivers that this situation plays in favor of Verkhavets’.
In its decision the court referred to Articles 33 and 34 of the Consitution of the Republic of Belarus, according to which any citizen has the right to express his/her opinion. This decision can be appealed to a higher court instance within 10-days’ term. The editor of the newspaper Siarhei Vazniak is satisfied with this verdict. He emphasized that it is the first case in his practice when the judge referred to the Fundamental law of the country in his verdict.