Head of the Mahiliou Region UCP branch appeals picket ban
On 7 February Uladzimir Shantsau filed
an appropriate appeal with the Mahiliou Region Court.
" I want the Constitution to start being effective in our country. As it is written there, the source of all authority is the people. Being a representative of the people, I possess the full rights to hold pickets in the center of the city," says the leader of the Mahiliou region branch of the United Civil Party.
"Moreover, according to the Constitution I have the right to hold mass events on par with state officials. However, when they hold such events they don't pay anything for them and hold them in the center of the city, whereas representatives of oppositional parties and organizations are forced to hold their events on the outskirts and pay for them," resents the politician.
According to Mr. Shantsau, the Leninski District Court of Mahiliou ignored his arguments and issued an unlawful verdict, which he decided to appeal in a higher court.
"I asked the judge of the district court why I am forced to pay money for holding a picket and the authorities don't have to pay anything for it. She answered that it had nothing to do with the case. I don't agree with it, as it concerns the interests of common people," says Mr. Shantsau.
"At the trial the officer of the ideological department of the Mahiliou Cituy Executive Committee Askolchanka said that there was no adverse discrimination of our party. All who file applications for holding mass events in the places that hadn't been determined as suitable for them are denied. However, the official said nothing about the peculiarities of the organization of the events which are held by the authorities, as well as about the fact that such "suitable places" had been determined by the Mahiliou City Executive Committee,' ads Uladzimir Shantsau.
Bear in mind that the Mahiliou authorities prohibited the UCP activists to hold 10 pickets in the city center on 19 December 2012. The activists wanted to remind the people about the peaceful post-election protests of 19 December 2012 and the existence of political prisoners in Belarus and turn their attention to the "privatization" of various state enterprises. According to them, the election was rigged with the aim to steal the state enterprises from the people.