State officials continue ignoring the Belarusian language
The deputy head of the Belarusian Social Democratic Party (Hramada) Ihar Barysau received an answer in the Russian language to his complaint about the placement of flags of the Russian Federation on the windshields of buses.
"I noticed that many of the state buses had flags of the Russian Federation on their windshields and filed a complaint to "Mahiliouablautatrans” (“Mahiliou Regional Bus Transport”). I wrote my complaint in the Belarusian language, and received an answer according to which the drivers of buses and trucks were ordered to remove these flags and were told they would be brought to justice if they refused to do it. However, for some reason, the answer was given in Russian,” says Mr. Barysau.
Human rights defender Barys Bukhel notes that in this case there has been a violation of Part 1 of Article 18 of the Law "On applications of citizens and legal persons".
"The law states that written responses to written requests must be given in the same language . If not, then it is a violation of the law. It is also a violation of the law "On languages in the Republic of Belarus", according to Article 4 of which the leaders and other employees of state agencies and other organizations must possess the knowledge of the Belarusian and Russian languagesto the extent sufficient to perform their duties. And in Part 3 Article 5 states that the response to the request must be given in the same language. If the officer who gave the answer, does not speak the Belarusian language, it means that he doesn't fulfil his duties. If he refuses to use the Belarusian language intentially, then this is a manifestation of adverse discrimination," said Mr. Bukhel.
Ihar Barisausays he intends to appeal the violations of the law that were made by “Mahiliouablautatrans” while giving the written answer, to higher state agencies and the prosecutor's office. If he doesn't receive satisfactory answers, he intends to apply to the court.