Hlybokaye authorities ban Constitution Day rally
The executive authorities of the town Hlybokaye, Vitsebsk region, has issued a ban on holding a picket to mark Constitution Day, March 15, referring to lack of service contracts from local medical, utilities and police departments. "Meanwhile, neither the doctors nor the utility service responded to our proposal to sign a contract," says one of the applicants Dzmitry Lupach.
He says his application was sent to the executive committee on the same day as the letters to the competent services:
"The committee was too fast to respond in just 10 days. The letter that banned the event was followed by a reply from police department. This suggests that the police chiefs had been waiting for the ban. The general message of the letter is as follows: you were not allowed to stage the rally, then we view a contract inappropriate. The public utilities and the clinic are silent until now, they do not tell us either "yes" or "no." If the answers had come on time and were positive, then by March 15 we would have had time to send another application."
The picket was expected to prove the authorities’ respect for the main government document where basic rights of citizens are registered, say the applicants of the rally Yaraslau Bernikovich and Dzmitry Lupach.
Today, however, the exercise of the right to freedom of expression and the freedom of assembly encounter obvious obstacles in the district of Hlybokaye. A picket of solidarity with political prisoners was banned by the local authorities last November.
Hlybokaye executive committee referred to the same reason – lack of contracts with local departments of health care, police and public utilities, that should be provided in accordance with a decision of the executive committee. However, signing these contracts in advance, as it turns out, is simply impossible, as the authorities in charge purposely wait for local executive officials to ban the events.