Commentary of “Viasna” website as a reason for prohibition of bicycle rally in Salihorsk
On 4 July Judge of
the Salihorsk District Court Valiantsina Lapina turned down the appeal of a
“Young Front” activist Andrei Tychyna against the prohibition of a bicycle
rally, issued by the Salihorsk City Executive Committee.
The Salihorsk CEC was represented at the trial by the head if its juridical department Aliaksei Strapko, who provided quite absurd reasons for the ban. One of the reasons became known only during the trial – it was a reprint of the commentary, given by Andrei Tychyna to the website of the Human Rights Center “Viasna”, at the website saligorsk.org. The Law “On Mass Events” prohibits spreading information about the date and the time of an action before its authorization by the appropriate state authorities, but there was no such information in Andrei's commentary.
He said that some other people applied for authorization of the action, and this was enough for the authorities. According to Mr. Strapko, “nobody even knows this persons, even the counterintelligence department of the Belarusian KGB didn't manage to establish their identity, but they are registered at some islands. We all know that this website (saligorsk.org) represents the interests of some structures and Tychyna Andrei Uladzimiravich is a representative of these structures, too.”
On the basis of this very commentary the officials allegedly concluded that unauthorized symbols would be used at the bicycle rally, (Andrei Tychyna just spoke of white-red-white symbols).
“The situation is absurd – a bicycle rally for returning the official state status of white-red-white flag was prohibited because this flag is an “unregistered symbol”, states the “Young Front” activist. “Though I didn't have any special hopes for justice in this political trial, but I hoped for some pre-election liberalization, which was wrong. Not I am thinking of filing an application for holding a picket in support of election boycott,” he added.
On 11 July the activist must be issued a copy of the court verdict, after which he will have 10 days to appeal the verdict to the Minsk City Court.