Another ban on a mass event issued in Vitsebsk
Vitsebsk City Executive
Committee refused to authorize the rally in honor of the 150th
anniversary of the uprising of Kastus Kalinouski, planned by Yan
Dziarzhautsau, a member of the Conservative-Christian Party
"Belarusian Popular Front".
"The letter of the executive committee actually confirms the fact Vitsebsk activists are well aware of: our actions will be banned at any cost, even in violation of the legislation and our rights," commented the activist.
Mr. Dziarzhautsau intended to hold the rally on Sunday, 10 March, and applied to the city executive committee, as far as the intended route crossed the territory of three city districts. The written denial of the authorities is dated 4 March. However, the post seal has a different date – 6 March. The letter was received by Mr. Dziarzhautsau even later – on 7 March, less than three days prior to the action, whereas the legal deadline is 5 days.
The formal reason for the ban is predictable – the failure of the applicant to conclude service agreements with the polyclinic and police. The applicant attached the answers of these institutions to his application, asking the authorities to oblige them to conclude service agreements with him. However, the deputy head of Vitsebsk City Executive Committee Uladzimir Shloma refused to do it referring to Article 391 of the Civil Code.
"It means that the public utilities, medics and the police can refuse to conclude service agreements with organizers of mass events for no reason at all – just because they don't want to do it, and ruling #881 of Vitsebsk City Executive Committee, regulating the order of holding of such events, becomes unfulfillable. On the other hand, it means that we are pushed to holding unauthorized mass events, which is an administrative violation," commented Mr. Dziarzhautsau.
The activist intends to appeal the received ban at a higher instance, Vitsebsk Region Executive Committee. He also wants to require explanations why the city authorities adopt the rulings which are impossible to implement.