Homel: Zmitser Karashkou charged with illegal picketing
In the morning of 11 November the coordinator of the civil campaign “Stop drinking – start living!” Zmitser Karashkou was detained for holding an anti-alcoholization picket in front of the Homel Regional Executive Committee, where he unfurled a huge banner "Stop the sale of alcohol near schools".
The activist was quickly arrested and pulled into a police car. At the Tsentralny District Police Department of Homel the police charged him under Article 23.34 of the Administrative Code (violation of the order of holding mass events). He was released after a questioning and the confiscation of the banner. Now he is awaiting a trial.
Earlier, the activist, maintained a long mail coorespondence with the local officials and the member of the city council Valiantsina Atroshchanka and was one of the initiators of the public hearings on the ban on the sale of alcohol in stores located near schools. Unfortunately, this brought no result, that's why Zmitser decided to hold a picket.
He tried to hold his action legally: in March 2013 he applied to the Homel City Executive Committee to obtain a permission. However, the authorities banned the mass event. That's why he had to hold the picket without authorization, in order to draw public attention to the problem. Earlier, during the previous election to the Parliament, held in Autumn 2012, he initiated appeals to various state instances and MPs, for banning the sale of alcohol at the polling stations, most of which were located in schools. Howeverer, the executive and the legislature ignored the opinions of citizens who signed a collective complaint on this matter.