November opens with a new trial in Zhodzina

2013 2013-11-02T17:17:07+0300 2013-11-02T17:17:07+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
Aliaksei Lapitski

Aliaksei Lapitski

From 10 to 12.40 a.m. on November 1 the first hearing concerning the prohibition of a picket in support of Ales Bialiatski and other political prisoners took place at the Zhodzina City Court.

The trial was held by Judge Ivan Hrynkevich. the defendant was represented by the head of the legal department of the Zhodzina City Executive Committee, Volha Verhel.

According to the Belarusian Legal Portal, a distinctive feature of this case is that the plaintiffs, human rights defenders Aliaksei and Sviatlana Lapitskis, appeal the ban on their picket in the conditions of the action of the ruling of the Zhodzina District Executive Committee of 27 July 2012 № 1020 "On the order of holding mass events in Zhodzina”. In practice, this document greatly complicates the process of application, making it impossible to receive a permit for a mass event and interfering with the realization of the inalienable rights of the citizens to publicly express their opinions and hold peaceful assemblies. According to the ruling, the organizers mass events must supply their applications with service agreements with the police, ambulance and community services. However, the latter ones refuse to enter into such agreements prior to receipt of a permit from the executive committee to conduct the mass event.

In this regard, the applicants requested the court to examine the circumstances of the refusal to hold the pickets, find the perpetrators and put before the highest courts (the Supreme Court and the Constitutional Court) the issue of non-compliance, in particular, of the requirements of paragraph 5 of the Ruling No. 1020 to the Law "On Mass Events", Article 35 and Article 23 of the Constitution of the Republic of Belarus, as well as Article 21 and Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and political Rights.

A representative of the executive committee proposed that the court drop the case because of the alleged lack or jurisdiction, explaining that the executive committee didn't prohibit the picket (?) and it was necessary to challenge its decision to the Minsk Regional Executive Committee first.

However, after the presentation of positions and a discussion, the court granted serveral petitions of the plaintiffs. Thus, representatives of the Zhodzina District Police Department, the communal services and the ambulance are summonsed to the next court hearing, scheduled for 8 November, to give testimonies. The court will study the official responses of these agencies to the requests to enter into service agreements, as well as other relevant oducments.

According to the Legal Internet Portal