Homel: city authorities ban picket against early voting
At the end of November
the Homel human rights defenders Anatol Paplauny and Leanid Sudalenka applied
for holding a picket on 10 December, the Human Rights Day.
’Early voting is one of the instruments of the falsification. We intended to explain it to residents of Homel and call them not to vote early not to facilitate the rigging of the election,’ explained Mr. Sudalenka.
According to him, the Homel City Executive Committee didn’t authorize the action because the organizers hadn’t paid for the services of the police, the medics and the communal services and had determined the Paustannia Square as the action site. Bear in mind that the Homel authorities had determined just one place for opposition’s actions in Homel – the ground near the Culture House of the Belarusian Society of the Deaf.
The human rights defenders are of the opinion that the ban of the action and the ruling of the executive committee concerning the determination of the place for actions contradict to the Constitution and violate the human right to peaceful assemblies.
’Taking into the fact that peaceful assemblies are one of the fundamentals of real democracy and the protection of freedom of assemblies is necessary for the establishment of a tolerant society where groups with different views, norms of behavior and principles can coexist – I consider the refusal of the executive committee to be an inadmissible limitation of our rights to expression and freedom of assembly that are enshrined in Articles 23, 33 and 35 of the Constitution,’commented Mr. Paplauny.
Bear in mind that the organizers of unauthorized street actions are punished with huge fines or arrest. During the two last years there were more than 40 cases when the courts of the Homel region punished democratic activists for attempts to hold such actions.
Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections