Baranavichy authorities ban Milavidy festival
Baranavichy executive committee issued another ban on holding Milavidy festival dedicated to the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Milavidy during the 1863 anti-Russian Uprising. Previously, we reported that the cultural and educational event was scheduled for June 2, but the executive committee dismissed local activists’ bid, saying that “on this day and in this place the cultural department of Baranavichy district executive committee scheduled its own event in connection with the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Milavidy, so the holding of another event on the subject is not appropriate.”
“Since there is virtually no information about the event scheduled by the department of culture for June 2, the organizers of Milavidy festival filed a new application for permission to postpone the gathering to June 9,” says local civil society activist Viktar Syrytsa.
However, the organizers of the festival, Viktar Syrytsa, Viachaslau Bolbat and Tereza Selivonchyk, received yesterday another ban. It was reported in a letter signed by the deputy chairman of the executive committee Anatol Filanchuk, who says that the executive committee will not approve Milavidy festival, as the applicants, according to the executive committee, violated Par. 5 of the Law “On Mass Events” of the Republic of Belarus. Meanwhile, the official failed to specify the character of the alleged violation.
Civil society activist Viktar Syrytsa says, “We were more than serious in writing the application: we specified the objective, time and place of the event, sources of financing, slogans, we wrote a detailed program of the festival, identified the responsible persons, attached their commitments, entered into a contract with the district police, health center and housing and communal services for the maintenance of our event, and we did not give any prior information to the media, etc. I believe that we did not break the law, while the executive committee failed to comply with Art. 51 of the Constitution of Belarus, preventing us from participating in cultural life.”
The activist also says they still have almost 2 weeks ahead and the initiative group for Milavidy festival will consider celebrating the glorious date in our history in the circumstances.