Vitsebsk: authorities ban a picket calling to boycott the election

2010 2010-12-09T00:37:49+0200 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

The Kastrychnitski District Executive Committee prohibited the member of the Conservative-Christian Party Belarusian Popular Front Yan Dziarzhautsau to hold a picket for boycotting the presidential election. The formal reason for the ban is that the picket site (Lenin Square) is allegedly occupied by the electoral picket of the presidential candidate Uladzimir Niakliayeu.

’One can put even ten different pickets on the square’, says Mr. Dziarzhautsau. However, I was told that Niakliayeu’s team was holding a picket there. I even phoned to Uladzimir Aleksenka, the applicant of Niakliayeu’s picket. He was very surprised and said: ‘You can stand even ten steps or ten meters away from us. I am not an adherent of boycott, but don’t mind having another picket nearby.’

Yan Dziarzhautsau intends to apply to court against the unlawful ban.

’By their contradictory decisions the local authorities push us to unlawful picketing. For instance, Barys Khamaida stands near the so-called ‘blue house’ with boycott posters everyday. He is periodically detained and taken to the police station for agitating in improper place. However, they don’t let us do it in the places where such actions are allowed and pretend that the canvassing is held in a democratic way.’

Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections