Vitsebsk authorities ban 3 pickets on Independence Day
Vitsebsk pro-democratic activists Khrystafor Zhaliapau and Aliaksei Haurutsikau were going to mark the anniversary of the proclamation of the Declaration of Sovereignty of Belarus with a picket of solidarity with political prisoners. However, the event was banned by Pershamaiski district administration. The same negative responses were received by the chairman of the BPF’d regional council Leanid Autukhou and a member of the Conservative Christian Party BPF Yan Dziarzhautsau.
Yan Dziarzhautsau wanted to stage a picket in a local park. It was supposed to share his ideas on the deployment on the territory of our country of a Russian military bases. Leanid Autukhou received a ban from the administration of Kastrychnitski district. Supporter of the social-democratic forces, associate of the political prisoner Mikalai Statkevich, Aliaksei Haurutsikau and local coordinator of the "For Freedom" movement Khrystafor Zhaliapau were expected to demand the immediate release and rehabilitation of political prisoners.
The reasons for the three bans are the same: the organizers failed to provide maintenance contracts from local public utilities, medical and police departments. This condition is approved by a decision of the executive committee of Vitsebsk of 10 July, 2009. The decision, which regulates the preparation and holding of mass events, is impossible to be implemented. Activists have repeatedly tried to initiate a change in the decision, appealed to the court and to the city’s executive officials, but so far without any results. The city officials insist that the decision is legally justified, although in the last three years, Vitsebsk political and civil society activist have never been able to exercise their right to hold mass events.
On July 24, Vitsebsk activists tried to correct the situation together with their associates from Minsk, representatives of an initiative offering to launch a "popular referendum", Yury Hubarevich and Andrei Dzmitryeu. However not all of them were welcome by the deputy chairman of the executive committee Uladzimir Tsiarentsiyeu, while the possibility to organize a mass protest in Vitsebsk on the initiative of opposition activists still remains unresolved.