Baranavichy activist appeals ban on Milavidy Festival

2013 2013-06-21T12:51:24+0300 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

An activist of the civil campaign “Tell the Truth”, Viachaslau Bolbat, filed yesterday a complaint with the district court of Baranavichy and Baranavichy district to challenge the actions of the district executive committee, which, according to the activist, twice illegally banned an educational and cultural event entitled “Milavidy Festival – In Memory of the Kasiniery of 1863.”

The complaint states that the activists Viachaslau Bolbat, Viktar Syrytsa and Tereza Selivonchyk filed on April 19 an application to the executive committee to hold a public event on June 2, 2013, attaching their obligations to ensure public order and security during the event. In his complaint, Viachaslau Bolbat notes that the organizers of the festival guaranteed the payment of expenses related to the mass event, certified by copies of contracts with local police, medical and public utility services submitted to the chairman of the district executive committee on 29 April.

Thus, the activist stresses that the organizers of the event fulfilled all the requirements of the Law “On Mass Events in the Republic of Belarus.” However, in its decision of 3 May, Baranavichy district executive committee banned the festival in honor of the Kasiniery of 1863 on the grounds that the cultural department of the district executive committee had allegedly scheduled its own event dedicated to the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Milavidy expected to be held on the same day and location.

Viachaslaa Bolbat further reports in his complaint that the organizers of the event, taking into account the requirements of Art. 6 of the Law “On Mass Events in the Republic of Belarus,” sent another application to hold the event on a different day, 9 June. In spite of the fact that the date was not interfered with any other events, Baranavichy executive committee’s decision of 20 May once again banned the Festival. The reason for refusal was the fact that the applicants allegedly failed to meet Par. 5 of the Law “On Mass Events”. However, the decision of the executive committee failed to mention what exactly was violated by the applicants, says Viachaslau Bolbat.

The activist disagrees with the latter decision, and therefore urges the district court to overturn the ban imposed by the executive committee.