Slonim District Court stably sides with the executive committee
Slonim district court considered the appeal of the Slonim activist Ales Masiuk, in which he asked to recognize as illegal and annul the decision of the executive committee to ban the rally in defense of the readers and subscribers of “Hazeta Slonimskaya”.
Bear in mind that in early September, the Slonim district executive committee received a written request for permission to hold a picket on 29 September in the city park in order to protect the rights of the inhabitants of the Slonim district to subscribe to the newspaper “Hazeta Slonimskaya” and buy it on newsstands of the "Belsayuzdruk". However, the local authorities din't allow to hold the picket. The reason for the ban was that according to the schedule of the department of ideological work, culture and youth affairs of the Slonim District Executive Committee, the cross-quiz “Know Your Country”, held by the Belarusian Republican Youth Union, was to be held that day, and the law prohibits holding several mass events in the same place at the same time.
The picket organizer Ales Masiuk did not agree with the decision of the executive committee, arguing that it violated his constitutional rights, and on that basis appealed to the Slonim District Court. During the trial Masiuk said that for its part he had fulfilled all legal requirements. Before applying to the executive committee he even watched its official website and the local newspaper, making sure that the authorities didn't plan to hold any events on 29 September. He also chose Sunday for his event, as no events are usually held by the authorities on that day. Moreover, upon filing the application with the executive committee Ales Masiuk asked the deputy head of the department of ideology, culture and youth affairs to transfer the event to any other day if the executive committee was unable to authorize the event on Sunday.
Despite all this, the executive committee banned the picket without offering a different time or day for it.
At the trial Mr. Masiuk also said that in his opinion the representatives of the local authorities put the cross-quiz in the schedule of mass events after receiving his application. As it was found somewhat later, this fact is confirmed by the materials of the case. The representatives of the ideology department of the executive committee presented the schedule of events to the court. There it is indicated that the cross-quiz was appointed on Sunday, 29 September, whereas the appropriate ruling indicates that it was to be held on 28 September.
However, despite this, on 24 October the court dismissed the appeal against the picket ban, arguing that the executive committee didn't commit any law violations in this case.