Hrodna court confirms picket ban
Judge Zhanna Krauchanka of Hrodna Leninski District Court upheld yesterday a ban on holding a picket in support of Ales Bialiatski, following two and a half hours of examination of a complaint lodged by local human rights defenders, Viktar Sazonau, Uladzimir Khilmanovich and Raman Yurhel, to challenge the decision of the city executive committee.
The picket in support of Ales Bialiatski was expected to be held on August 4.
The Judge issued a predictable decision in favor of the executive committee, ignoring the fact that the authorities delayed a formal response, which is a flagrant violation of paragraph 1 of Article 6 of the Mass Events Code. The prosecutor also sided with the executive power, paying no attention to the above violations committed by the executive committee.
Judge Zhanna Krauchanka also failed to grant several request of the applicants, in particular, their petition demanding minutes in Belarusian.
Sviatlana Kalesnik, representative of the executive authorities, was not able to give a clear answer when and who ruled to ban the picket, ignoring most of the questions by the human rights defenders.
The activists referred to a violation of their civil rights, guaranteed by the country's Constitution and international treaties ratified by Belarus. In fact, they were unable to receive an answer to the question how one could obtain a permit to hold a rally in Hrodna. Now Viktar Sazonau, Uladzimir Khilmanovich and Raman Yurhel, who are convinced that the city authorities violated their constitutional rights, are going to appeal the decision of the district court to the higher courts.