Mahiliou residents ask authorities to reverse restrictions on mass events

2014 2014-08-29T14:21:30+0300 2014-08-29T14:21:30+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
A stadium in Mahiliou, the only authorized location for staging mass events

A stadium in Mahiliou, the only authorized location for staging mass events

Dozens of Mahiliou have signed a collective appeal to the Council of Ministers of Belarus, where they ask to cancel the decision of the Mahiliou City Executive Committee ‘On Mass Events in the City of Mahiliou”.

The authors stress that this decision is contrary to the legislation of Belarus on mass events and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and therefore violates the constitutional rights of citizens to freedom of public assembly.

They argue that the decision establishes additional requirements that are contrary to law and common sense. This refers to the need to provide maintenance contracts (public order, health care and cleaning). However, practice shows that these agreements cannot be concluded, as the government agencies refuse to sign any contracts without permission from the executive branch. The executive officials, in turn, would not give permission without a contract for these services.

The appeal notes that violations of the law on mass events are of pervasive nature: similar requirements are contained in the decisions of the authorities of Vitsebsk, Orsha, Polatsk, Dubrouna, Hlybokaye, Dokshytsy, Talachyn, Miory, Ushachy, Sharkaushchyna, Zhodzina, Pukhavichy, Barysau, Brest, Pinsk, Kamianets, Biaroza, Stolin, Homel, Kalinkavichy, Mazyr, Buda-Kashaliova, Retchytsa, Naroulia, Yelsk, Vetka, Zhytkavichy, Dobrush, Petrykau, Rahachou, Zhlobin, Svetlahorsk, Karma, Mahiliou and Mstsislau.

Such restrictions are not applied in only two regions of the country: in the city of Minsk and in Hrodna region.