Vitsebsk: human rights activist is not allowed to hold pickets
Pavel Levinau, activist of the Belarusian Helsinki Committee, intended to hold a number of pickets dedicated to the 60th anniversary of the Universal Human Rights Declaration. He addressed Vitsebsk authorities with the request to authorize the actions and received a refusal signed by the deputy head of Vitsebsk city executive committee Pavel Losich.
The reason for the refusal is that the human rights activist intended to hold the pickets in residential districts of the city, not in the desolate parts at the outskirts of the city that had been determined by the city authorities as places for mass actions.
Another ‘reason’ is that the applicant did not conclude an agreement with the police for guarding the action.
Pavel Levinau reminds that last year he also asked the authorities to authorize some pickets on the eve of the Universal Day of Human Rights, 10 December, and also received an analogical refusal from Losich. Levinau considers it as a violation of his freedom of expression and peaceful actions. That’s why during the last year the human rights activist applied to court in order to get the official punished for it.
Having gone through all court instances and having found no support, Mr Levinau finally applied to the UN Human Rights Committee, which accepted his complaint for consideration. This year he will repeat the whole procedure from the very beginning: he has already sued to court against Losich’s unlawful actions.