Salihorsk District Executive Committee ignores the rights of Belarusian-speaking citizens
The head of the Salihorsk District
Executive Committee (CEC) Aliaksandr Rymasheuski did not satisfy the
demand of the Salihorsk youth to create a Belarusian-language version
of the official website of the executive committee does not
contradict to requirements of the Constitution of the Republic of
Belarus, according to which both Belarusian and Russian are the state
languages of the Republic of Belarus.
One of the initiators of the appeal, Aliaksei Valabuyeu, disagrees with this position: “The right of citizens to use their national language is guaranteed by Article 3 of the Law “On languages in the Republic of Belarus”. Article 2 of the Law obliges the state authorities of the Republic of Belarus, including the Salihorsk District Executive Committee, to guarantee the development and functioning o the Belarusian language in all spheres of public life. The Republic of Belarus must demonstrate the state care about the free development and use of the Belarusian language.”
The human rights defender also refers to international norms. According to Aliaksei Valabuyeu, part 1 of Article 2 of the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights, ratified by the Republic of Belarus, guarantees the the respect of human rights irrespective of the language used by the individual, including the right to receive information, guaranteed by Article 19 of the document. Article 27 states that no one can be denied the right to use his native language.
Moreover, the applicants did not have any pretensions to the Russian version of the website, they demanded the establishment of the Belarusian version, but this moment was ignored in the official's answer.
“I don't know, what more is there in this answer: boldness or usual stupidity. I can conclude that the ideological department, which prepared the text of the answer, is completely incompetent in such issues and is not capable to make it juridically correctly... No reasons were provided to explain the absence of the Belarusian-language version of the website, though the existence of such version would not contradict the Law “On Languages” either,” commented Mr. Valabuyeu.