Freedom Day picket banned in Salihorsk
Salihorsk district executive committee banned the March 24 rally in commemoration of the 95th anniversary of the Belarusian People’s Republic – Freedom Day.
The applicant of the event is local civil society activist Uladzimir Shyla. The picket was expected to be held at the stadium “Budaunik”, the only officially sanctioned by the authorities venue for public events. The event was not only aimed to draw public attention to the memorable date, but also “to express discontent with the current political, economic, cultural, and national policies pursued by the authorities.”
Acting chairman of Salihorsk district executive committee Valery Shamruk says the reason for the ban is the picket’s non-compliance with the law “On Mass Events”, as the organizers reportedly failed to take measures to ensure public order and security.
Uladzimir Shyla, in turn, asked to entrust the duties of maintaining public order and safety during the event, as well as measures related to health care and cleaning after holding the public event, to the local authorities. According to him, this is a common international practice.
“In the framework of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, binding for observance by the Republic of Belarus, the right to peaceful assembly is an inalienable right of every person. It is the task of the state to ensure the implementation of this right. Accordingly, maintaining order, security, and other things in the pickets and rallies is also the duty of the state,” says local human rights activist Leanid Markhotka.
The event organizer Uladzimir Shyla is going to challenge the ban on picketing in the Court of Salihorsk district.