Brest: court upholds ban of “Honest elections without Lukashenka” picket
The Leninski District Court of Brest didn’t grant
the appeal of an activist of the United Civil Party Marat Nestsiarenka against
the prohibition of a picket “For honest elections without Lukashenka”.
The UCP member tried to prove that the decision of the deputy head of the Brest City Executive Committee Viachaslau Khafizau prohibiting him to hold a picket in an officially determined place on 15 May 2012 violated his freedom of expression and assembly, guaranteed by Articles 33 and 35 of the Constitution and enshrined in Articles 19 and 21 of the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights.
The formal reason for the picket ban was that a football match would be taking place at the “Locomotive” stadium at the time of the action. However, at the same time the Brest CEC prohibited two more pickets, which UCP activists intended to hold in other parts of Brest.
“The political motivation of these bans is evident,” points Mr. Nestsiarenka. “The campaign of the so-called “election” to the House of Representatives has started, and we remember well enough what gross violations of the law the previous electoral campaign was accompanied with. It concerns the deliberate non-inclusion of representatives of democratic forces in election commissions at all levels, absolutely disproportional access to state-owned media for oppositional and pro-governmental candidates and manipulations during the poll. There is little hope that anything will change this time and my application for holding a picket under the slogan “For honest elections without Lukashenka” is just an indicator of the readiness of the authorities to rig another election.”