Homel court upholds picket ban
Judge Zhanna Andreichyk of the Court of Homel’s Tsentralny District considered yesterday the complaint of civil activist Kanstantsin Zhukouski about a ban on holding a picket on 1 April imposed by the city executive committee. The activist and his associates were planning to hold a rally under a slogan “Homel City Executive Committee! Hands Off History!” in order to attract public attention to the destruction of unique wooden buildings in the center of Homel. The executive officials did not authorize the picket, referring to the applicants’ failure to meet the requirements of the local mass events restrictions, as the activists did not sign contracts with the police, community and medical services ahead of the picket. However, the applicants’ attempts to seek such contracts were rejected by the said services. The government agencies said they could not sign any contracts without the permission of the city executive committee, while the city authorities would not give permission without the contracts. This is what Kanstantsin Zhukouski explained by the court, adding that the city executive committee’s ban on the picket violates his constitutional rights, while the implementation of the decision on mass events restrictions is impossible in practice.
A representative of the executive committee Elnura Biadulina says the ban was legal.
As a result, the Court ruled to dismiss the complaint.
“This decision was predictable. Personally for me, it was like a meeting for the collection of information, as times change, and everyone will have to answer for their actions, those who are making decisions which violate the Constitution. At the trial, I had the impression that everyone knew everything - what was at stake, but they pretended they did not understand. The city executive committee’s decision is like a swindle, using the slang of those who replace the laws with gang concepts. We are paying for them, an army of chiefs, police officers and the KGB, and we are lumbered with them on our neck,” says Kanstantsin Zhukouski.