Pickets of solidarity with Ales Bialiatski and other political prisoners are still banned
Babruisk applicants for a picket of solidarity with Ales Bialiatski and all political prisoners received an official answer that their event was not authorized. The answer, signed by the deputy head of Babruisk City Executive Committee Viktar Dziasiatnik, provides several reasons for refusal.
The official writes that the Babruiskers composed their application in the wrong way and didn't indicate the type of the event. “The basic notions, used in Article 2 of the Law, don't include the notion of “picket”, which doesn't let to precisely determine the type of the event you are applying for,” reads the answer.
Dziasiatnik also pointed that the applicants were to have mentioned the measures they would take to ensure the public security, medical assistance and cleaning the territory, and come into an agreement about the order of the payment for such services.
The letter also alleges that it is prohibited to distribute any information about the picket before receiving an official permission for it, whereas the website of the “Babruiski Kur'yer” published such information. At the end of the letter the applicants are warned they will be punished if they take part in the unauthorized action.
Brest representatives of the Human Rights Center “Viasna” were prohibited to hold a picket in support of the political prisoner Ales Bialiatski, who has been in kept in prison for two years already as a consequence of his human rights activities.
“This is a violation of our constitutional right to freedom of expression and peaceful assemblies. In fact, it is impossible to hold such an event. The authorities have two standards: for instance, if they received applications from veterans of the war in Afghanistan, they may refuse to authorize their events with a reference to holding any other mass event in the time and place, specified in the application,” commented human rights defender Uladzimir Malei.
According to Brest authorities, they banned the picket due to violation of the Law “On Mass Events” and the absence of special service contracts.
The application for the event was filed by Uladzimir Vialichkin. In their ban they refer to violations of the Law “On Mass Events” and point at the absence of the contracts for serving the territory by the appropriate state services.
“As usual, I was convinced they wouldn't authorize an event with such aims. The reasons for the ban were also clear from the very beginning. At present there are just two of them. The first is the failure to implement paragraph 6 of the Law “On Mass Events”, which requires the applicant to enter into service contracts with the police, medics and public utilities, and the second – that the authorities allegedly intend to hold some other events at that time and in that place,” commented Mr. Vialichkin.
The human rights defender intends to appeal the picket ban in court. The action was dated to 4 August, the second anniversary of the arrest of human rights defender Ales Bialiatski.
Rechytsa activists intended to hold their picket of solidarity at 4-6 p.m. near the Rechytsa Culture House. The answer, signed by the first deputy head of Rechytsa District Executive Committee V. Atamanchuk, was received by the applicants, V. Putsitski and A. Shabetnik.
The letter argues that there is an officially determined place for such events, the ground near the park of culture and rest “Peramoha”, which is unfrequented by the local dwellers. Moreover, the executive committee alleges that the application for the action was filed too late.
According to the website rechyca.org, the application was filed in the Belarusian language, whereas the answer is in Russian. However, the law requires state officials to answer applications of citizens in the language of the application.