Mahiliou court upholds picket ban
The Court of Mahiliou Leninski District dismissed today a lawsuit brought by Uladzimir Shantsau, local leader of the United Civil Party, to challenge a ban on holding a picket imposed by the city executive committee.
Judge Lapatsina said the ban was legal.
Mrs. Ala Halushka, representative of the executive committee’s ideology department, said the decision to ban the picket was based on decrees adopted on 2007 and 2010. The decrees chose a pitch at the remote “Khimik” stadium as the only authorized mass events location.
Uladzimir Shantsau said the ban was illegal as picketing in the city center is guaranteed by both the country’s Constitution and international obligations.
“Why do we have to huddle somewhere in the suburbs, if we have every legitimate reason to hold our events in virtually any area of the city. Let BRSM and Belaya Rus hold their events on the outskirts. We are not going to stage our pickets in the suburbs anymore,” said Uladzimir Shantsau.
UCP activists were expected to hold on December 19, 2012 10 pickets in the city center to remind about the second anniversary of the Square, which took place in Minsk in 2010, and to draw people’s attention to how the authorities privatize state-owned enterprises, thereby selling people’s property without considering the interests of ordinary citizens. Uladzimir Shantsau was the only activist who decided to appeal the ban in court.