Salihorsk executive committee ignores calls for language equality

2013 2013-02-26T16:38:44+0300 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

Uladzimir Masakouski, deputy chairman of Salihorsk city office of the organization “Belarusian Language Society”, is urging local authorities to secure the practical implementation of the equal status of the Belarusian and Russian languages enshrined in the country’s legislation. However, he keeps receiving bureaucratic runaround replies.

In his statement to the chairman of the district executive committee, Mr. Masakouski offered to bring the status of the state Belarusian language in accordance with Article 17 of the Constitution of Belarus in all areas of public life of the town and the district. As an example of discrimination of Belarusian-speaking citizens the statement mentions local road signs with words in two languages, Russian and English.

So far, the authorities are unwilling to eliminate the existing linguistic. Chairman of the executive committee, Aliaksandr Rymasheuski, keeps referring to the legislative “comprehensive development and functioning of the Belarusian and Russian languages ​​in all spheres of public life.” Mr. Rymasheuski advocates maintaining the status quo with citing the legal contrivance of the Language Code, according to which “the official name of the state bodies shall be given in Belarusian and (or) in Russian.”

Moreover, Mr. Masakouski’s request to name the person in charge of the implementation of the Code in the institutions and legal entities of the town and district was ignored by the executive committee chairman.