Minsk authorities ban over 60 pickets in support of Ales Bialiatski
None of over 60 pickets in support of imprisoned Viasna leader Ales Bialiatski expected to be staged by human rights defenders was authorized by Minsk executive authorities.
“Despite the fact that the applications met the Mass Events Code, and the expected number of picketers ranged between 2 and 5 persons, all the pickets were banned. Human rights defenders received nearly identical responses, which in reality are formal roundabout replies. The reasons for the bans are traditional: “another event is scheduled”, “the exact location of the picket cannot be identified”, “the picket is believed to be interfering with the traffic and pedestrians”, etc. Such bans do not only run counter to the international treaties ratified by the Republic of Belarus, but to the Mass Events Code and the Belarusian Constitution as well”, says one of the activists Siarhei Ustsinau.
14 bans were appealed at Minsk Maskouski District Court. On 13 January, all of them were dismissed.
According to Mr. Ustsinau, the fact shows that Belarus has no fair trial, while the bans are merely aimed at suppressing alternative opinions.