50 000 Sign for Freedom of Conscience
According to the information of Siarhei Lukanin, press-secretary of the campaign For Freedom of Conscience since 22 April till 13 February 50 210 citizens of Belarus signed under the appeal to the president, The Chamber of Representatives of the National Assembly and the Constitutional Court for amendment of the present laws on religion. The signatures were collected by religious activists.
In the text of the appeal the state authorities are proposed to amend the laws on freedom of conscience and religious organizations, the law on mass actions, the Criminal and the Administrative Codes (for which a working group of officials must be established) and declare moratorium on the action of certain parts of the aforementioned legal acts.
According to Lukanin, signatures were collected in more than 30 towns and cities of Belarus. Among the signers there are people of different ages and professions, believers and atheists. Mr. Lukanin stated that by collection of more than 50 000 signatures all people of good will won a great victory. ‘This campaign showed that deficiency of the laws on religion concerned not only believers’. According to the campaign’s activists, more than a half of the people who were proposed to sign the petition, agreed to do it in spite of the fear of possible repressions from the side of authorities. ‘Pitifully enough, in Belarus fear has become as widespread as the lies of the state officials and mass media’, Lukanin said.