Rahachou opposition activist threatened with prosecution for using town’s coat of arms

2012 2012-12-17T16:35:03+0300 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en http://spring96.org/files/images/sources/rogachev_city_coa_n5243.gif The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

Rahachou opposition activist Dzianis Dashkevich has received a letter from the town’s administration, saying that he may be prosecuted for illegal use of the town’s coat of arms on the www.vrogacheve.ru independent web-site.

The letter is signed by deputy chairman of the town’s executive committee Vasil Karalchuk.

“Actually, this is the first time we encounter this kind of order. This is like wearing a T-shirt with the coat of arms of one of the cities and towns of Belarus and having to ask for local authorities’ permission,” says Dzianis Dashkevich.

The activist also says the independent web-site has a different design of the arms and therefore it does not violate the law.

Meanwhile, Art. 7 of the Law on Copyright and Neighboring Rights says that the official heraldic designs are not objects of copyright and their usage does not require special permission.