Homel human rights activist didn't manage to make post office use Belarusian language

2014 2014-08-12T17:29:28+0300 2014-08-12T17:29:28+0300 en http://spring96.org/files/images/sources/adzinochanka_viktar.jpg The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
Viktar Adzinochanka

Viktar Adzinochanka

Homel human rights activist, member of the Belarusian Helsinki Committee Viktar Adzinochanka received a response to his appeal to the Prosecutor General on the implementation of the right to use his native Belarusian language in post documentation.

M. Papova, head of the department of the Prosecutor General's Office for supervision of the rights and freedoms of citizens replied laconically, actually duplicating the answer of the Ministry of Communications: Belarus has two official languages, therefore either Belarusian and/or Russian can be used in the documentation at the post office.

Bear in mind that the human rights defender demands from the post office to use the Belarusian language in its documentation. At the end of June he subscribed to the newspaper “Nasha Niva” in a post office in Homel. The subscription blank was issued to him in the Russian language. Employees of the post office stated that there were only English and Russian in their computers. "It's a shame for me as a Belarusian, because we don't live in England or Russia. I regard it as a direct discrimination of Belarusian-speaking Belarusians,” commented Mr. Adzinochanka.


He described the situation in his address to the Minister of Communications and Information, where he asked to install the Belarusian language on the computers of the post offices. The Ministry replied to this proposal with a reference to the Constitution and the law "On Postal Communication", which provides for the use of the two official languages. However, nothing was said about his proposal. Then the human rights activist applied to the General Prosecutor's Office, which repeated that two languages could be used in documentation.


"I haven't received a substantial answer to my appeal. There has been no reaction to my proposal. I am a little confused by the answers received from the Ministry of Communications and the General Prosecutor's Office. I think I clearly wrote that I ask to install Belarusian language on the computers in post offices so that Belarusian citizens could exercise their legitimate right to bilingualism. They answer that the use of the Russian language does not contradict the law. I am talking about one thing, they are talking about another one. I believe that such responses indicate not only the attitude of the officials to their native language, of course, provided that they are Belarusians, but also to citizens' requests. I have received two runarounds. However, in my opinion the problem persists. After all, many people are still sorry for their language. And they are not so few of them as it may seem," added Viktar Adzinochanka.