Hrodna: civil activists vs. city authorities
Hearings on a lawsuit of civil activists against
Hrodna authorities have started at the Leninski District Court of Hrodna.
The plaintiffs (Yury Istomin, Uladzimir Khilmanovich and Vadzim Saranchukou) ask the court to find unlawful the refusal of the Hrodna City Executive Committee to authorize their action on Freedom Day, 25 March.
According to the refusal, signed by the deputy head of the Hrodna City Executive Committee Iryna Senchakova, the applicants allegedly violated part 4 of Article 5 of the Law "On Mass Events". Though the application for an official permit had been sent by registered mail on 7 Mar, it was registered at the executive committee with a considerable delay – only on 12 March. Lawyers of the executive committee stated that there was a series of days off and the post offices didn't work properly, whereas the civil activists are sure that the officials deliberately protracted the registration of the document. Moreover, the official answer, received by them, is dated 19 March, but the date on the mail seal is 20 March, which means that it was sent a day later than the legally required term – 5 days before the action.
The civil activists also ask the court to find unlawful the ruling of the Hrodna CEC of 19 October 2011, by which the city authorities officially determined places for mass events. The plaintiffs are convinced that this ruling is discriminative and contradicts the Constitution of the Republic of Belarus and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.