General Procuracy issues warnings to five candidates

2010 2010-12-11T17:57:09+0200 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

The General Procuracy issued official warnings to the presidential candidates Uladzimir Niakliayeu, Yaraslau Ramanchuk, Vital Rymasheuski, Andrei Sannikau and Mikalai Statkevich for calling the Belarusian citizens to come to Kastrychnitskaya Square on the Election Day, 19 December.

It is already the second warning for Rymasheuski and Statkevich: they received analogical warnings for the same time for the calls to take part in the unauthorized street action in Kastrychnitskaya Square in Minsk on 24 November.

As stated to BelaPAN by the press-secretary of Uladzimir Niakliayeu, Yuliya Rymasheuskaya, on 9 December he received a telephone call from an officer of the procuracy, who said that a criminal case would be brought against the candidate if he held an unauthorized action on 19 December. Mr. Niakliayeu was also informed that the notice about the official warning would be thrown into his postbox on 10 December.

’The regime started a predictable and long-awaited intimidation: with imprisonment and with criminal responsibility. The regime hasn’t invented anything new. Its demonstrative democracy will be decreasing more and more with the approach of the election, when its fate would be decided. It is coming to an end, and usual things take its place…’

A similar telephone call was received by Mikalai Statkevich. ‘I answered that the main violation of the law is killing the opponents of the Belarusian authorities, and the mass action on 19 December is the exercise of the constitutional right to freedom of assembly, and in if the Procuracy is not going to protect the constitutional norms, we will have to do it on our own,’ said Mr. Statkevich.

Yaraslau Ramanchuk received a telephone call from Pavel Radzivonau, the head of the department of supervision over the observance of the law and the legality of legal acts. He stated that the candidate was issued with a warning that would be sent to his home address. Mr. Ramanchuk replied that coming to the square is a part of his electoral campaign. ‘It will be a completely peaceful assembly. We will come to listen to what the Chairperson of the Central Election Commission Lidziya Yarmoshyna would say about the results of the voting. I don’t see anything unlawful in it, it’s done in all civilized countries of the world,’ emphasized Mr. Ramanchuk.

Lidziya Yarmoshyna, in her turn, said that the Central Election Commission won’t consider these warnings. ‘We won’t do it. The warning pronounced by the General Procuracy does not concern a violation of the Electoral Code. It’s a violation of the law on mass actions, which is beyond our scope.’

Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections