Salihorsk human rights defender challenges foreign travel ban for non-payment of utility bills
Salihorsk human rights defender Leanid Markhotka addressed the District Prosecutor with a complaint against the town’s public utility centre. The officials are reportedly going to enforce foreign travel restrictions for persons who have not paid their utility bills for more than one month. The blacklists are said to be sent together with the bills.
According to the human rights defender, the public utility centre is not among the organizations having a legitimate right to submit to the State Border Committee of Belarus a list of persons who are temporarily prohibited from traveling abroad. On this basis, Leanid Markhotka urges the Prosecutor to respond to the illegal activities of the town’s public utilities.
Apart from that, the human rights activist believes that the officials violated his rights as a consumer.
“Maybe for someone it is acceptable that the public utilities send such “horror stories” but I am a law-abiding citizen who regularly pays the services and I do not have the slightest desire to receive these intimidations,” says Leanid Markhotka.
The human rights defender says the messages on foreign travel ban are illegal intimidation of him and members of his family. On this basis, in accordance with Article 18 of the Law “On Protection of Consumer Rights”, Leanid Markhotka requests that the management of the public utilities center did not send him illegal announcements and voluntarily compensate moral damages in the amount of 500 thousand rubles.
In case no voluntary compensation for the damage is provided, the human rights defender is ready to bring civil proceedings in court. Then, all the court costs will be charged to the officials.