Freedom Day picket banned in Hlybokaye

2014 2014-02-26T17:32:24+0300 2014-02-26T17:32:24+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

The reason for the ban is traditional: lack of service contracts with the medics, utilities and the police. Moreover, the district police directly said they refused to enter into preliminary agreements.

Permission to stage a picket on Freedom Day was requested by local activists Yaraslau Bernikovich and Dzmitry Lupach. Yaraslau Bernikovich, who received a response to their proposal for signing a contract, said:

"The chief of the police department Vasiukovich writes that the law on mass events has a fixed order of their organization. And that in the law there is no requirement that contracts with the law enforcement should be signed before the local authorities decide to allow an event. This makes sense, because why sign agreements when it is not clear whether the picket will take place or not. However, our local authorities are not controlled by law! They believe that above all laws is the Hlybokaye executive committee’s decision No. 167. It says that, together with the application for the event, we have to file signed contracts with the doctors, community services and the police. Hence, as the saying has it: there is no law for… the executive committee. And we, ordinary citizens, are in a hopeless situation. Indeed, like it or not, the executive committee would never issue permission for the event without the contracts, while the same police flatly refuse to negotiate in advance, citing the law!"

The activist says the same response from the police banned a Constitution Day event on March 15. All’s the same, word for word: police refers to the law on the organization of events and says absolutely nothing about the decision of the local authorities. To police, the law is, of course, higher. And the executive committee created some sort of its own procedure for organizing mass actions, as a result of which their conduct is simply impossible.