Baranavichy: human rights defender Siarhei Housh demands amendments to regulation on mass events
September 9, human rights activist Siarhei Housha filed a complaint to the Chairman of the Brest Regional Executive Committee against the decision of the Baranavichy City Executive Committee dated July 14, 2014, prohibiting picketing on 27 July.
As it is stated in the complaint, the picket dedicated to the anniversary of the Declaration of Independence of Belarus, has been banned by officials as the applicant had allegedly failed to submit timely copies of contracts with the police, ambulance and public utilities. Mr. Housha reports that the human rights defenders filed their application for the picket one month before its date, and somewhat later brought copies of the agreements for serving the event. He explained that making such agreements took some time, especially with the police, who regularly refuse to sign such agreements and protract the time. However, as stated by the applicant, the applicants timely submitted all service agreements to the executive committee (15 days before the picket). Therefore the authorities just didn't have any reasons to ban the event.
At the same time, Siarhei Housha reminds that the organization and conduct of mass events is governed not only by law, but also by the regulation of the Council of Ministers No. 207, dated March 4, 2012, which doesn't require the organizers to enter into service agreements with the police. According to this regulation, the day after the registration of the application for a mass event, the executive committee was to have presented a copy of the appeal to the police, which was not implemented by the city authorities. That's why Mr. Housha asks the Brest Regional Executive Committee to:
1. Abolish the decision of the Baranavichy City Executive Committee of July 14, 2014 prohibiting the picket on July 27, 2014 as violating Article 35 of the Constitution and the Law of the Republic of Belarus No. 114-3 of December 30, 1997 “About mass events in the Republic of Belarus”;
2. oblige the Baranavichy City Executive Committee to amend its regulation No. 1497 of June 16, 2009 “About the order of conduct of mass events in Baranavichy” in connection with the adoption of the Regulation of the Council of Ministers No. 207 of March 5, 2012, and refrain from violating the rights of organizers of mass events in the future.