If you want to use Belarusian – pay for interpreter’s services
On 6 November the Baranavichy human rights defender
Siarhei Housha received an answer from the first deputy head of the main
justice department of the Brest Region Executive Committee A.Hushchyn.
The activist has spent already four moths struggling for his right to use the Belarusian language and receive answers in the language and application at the Baranavichy city and the Brest region courts.
However, the judges V.Petryu and A.Kmita keep sending him all documents in Russian, violating the legal requirements (according to which citizens’ applications must be answered in the language of application) and ignoring Housha’s oral and written requests to be provided with answers in the Belarusian language.
That’s why on 24 October Siarhei Housha applied to the main justice department of the Brest Region Executive Committee, asking to oblige the Baranavichy City and District Court and the Brest Region Court to issue him with all court documents in the Belarusian translation.
The answer of the justice department of the Brest CEC informs the human rights defender that according to Article 13 of the Code of the Republic of Belarus “On the court proceedings and the status of judges,” court proceedings can be held either in Belarusian or in Russian. The official of the justice department states that those who have an insufficient command of the Russian language have the right to use interpreter’s services on their own expense(!!!).
“I totally disagree with such an answer, because Articles 17 and 50 of the Constitution of the Republic of Belarus guarantee my right to use the Belarusian language and choose the language of communication. According to Article 5 of the Law “On Languages”, state officials must answer in the language in which they were addressed. That’s why I intend to continue seeking justice, this time – at the Ministry of Justice,” argues Mr. Housha.