Homel: court supports ban on May Day rally
On 11 June Judge of the
Tsentralny District of Homel Maryna Damnenka considered the complaint
of the Homel branch of the Belarusian Leftist Party "Fair World"
against the ban on the 1 May rally, issued by
the Home City Executive Committee. The political activists intended
to hold the rally to expresso solidarity with workers. They appealed
the ban to the court,
but to no avail: the court dismissed the complaint and upheld the
The head of the regional branch of the "Fair World" Uladzimir Siakerka noted that at the first meeting, he expressed impeachment to Judge Maryna Damnenka, because she repeatedly issued decisions on disputed matters in favor of the executive committee. "I explained to the court that I knew the verdict in advance because similar rulings kept being issued for ten years. Let me remind you that the last authorized rally was held in Homel in 2004 and soon we will celebrate the tenth anniversary since that date. Representatives of the executive committee don't attend court sittings, which is either contempt of court or unwillingness to answer our questions. We still haven't got an answer from teh executive committee how we could hold a mass event in Homel," said Uladzimir Siakerka.
To hold a meeting or rally, one must obtain a permission from the executive committee, and to get a permit, it is necessary to enter into a contract with the public utilities, police and ambulance service. These agencies, in their turn, refuse to sign such contracts referring to the absence of the permission of the executive committee. The Homel City Executive Committee doesn't give an answer how to get out of this vicious circle. Instead of answering the appeal of the leftist, the authorities just mailed them their ruling on mass events.
The politician is convinced that the bans on mass events, issued by the executive committee, violate the constitutional rights of citizens, and will appeal the ruling to the higher courts, and then – in the Human Rights Committee of the UN.