Vitsebsk court ignores violations of rights to public expression

2013 2013-10-10T16:06:55+0300 2013-10-10T16:06:55+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

Pershamaiski District Court of Vitsebsk held a hearing of the complaint by Vitsebsk pro-democratic activist, who asked to oblige the district authorities to issue permission to hold a picket against the deployment of Russian military bases in Belarus. However, representatives of the district administration decided to ignore the trial, and the court dismissed the complaint.

The complaint by the regional coordinator of the "For Freedom" movement Khrystafor Zhaliapau and a representative of the organizing committee of the Party "Narodnaya Hramada" Aliaksei Haurutsikau dealt with a ban on picket scheduled for September 8. They asked the court to order the district authorities to give permission for an event on the same subject at another time.

"But the district administration sent a paper that asked the court to consider the complaint in their absence. And Judge Volha Ivanova did not see any reason to order officials to give us permission for a different date," says Aliaksei Haurutsikau.

This was not the first attempt to gain possibility to hold a rally in Vitsebsk through the court. Aliaksei Haurutsikau, Khrystafor Zhaliapau and other activists earlier tried to sue district administrations and other authorities. However, it has not brought any results. A joint letter written by the activists this summer was not followed by a positive response, either. The city authorities argue that the decision on the organization and conduct of mass events has passed a legal examination, that it is registered in the register of public acts, so it is perfect and does not require any changes.

Meanwhile, in the 3 years since the adoption of the new restrictions local opposition activists have not managed to obtain a single permit for public events.