Mozyr: Uladzimir Tseliapun asks the prosecutor's office to assess the legality of a court verdict
October 9, Mozyr activist Uladzimir Tseliapun appealed to the Mozyr Inter-District Prosecutor's Office asking to assess the legality and validity of the judgment on his complaint. The reason for the appeal was the doubt that the judgment issued by the Mozyr District Court was competent, fair and impartial.
"Can a court be competent, if its personnel doesn't have the command of the state Belarusian language within its competence? Can it be fair if the requirements of the Constitution are ignored and I, a Belarusian, am denied the right to receive the verdict of a Belarusian court in the Belarusian language?” argues the human rights defender.
September 24, the Mozyr District Court considered the appeal of Mr. Tseliapun against the decisions and actions of Chair of the Mozyr District Council Siarhei Hvozdz and Deputy Chair of the Mozyr Distrit Executive Committee Feliks Haliuk. Mr. Tseliapun appealed a ban on a picket, issued by the executive committee. The appeal was turned down by the court.
The applicant believes that the court has not fully considered the appeal. “I appealed not only decisions of responsible public officials, but also the procedure for the adoption of these solutions. Public bodies shall, within their competence, take the necessary measures for the implementation and protection of human rights and freedoms, including the freedom of peaceful assembly. The court did not assess the inaction of the officials of the Mozyr District Council and Executive Committee in implementing the requirements of the Regulation of the Council of Ministers №207, which states that "within one day from the date of registration of the application for a mass event, the local executive and administrative body must send a copy of the application to the territorial authority of the Ministry Interior for dealing with issues related to the protection of public order”. This procedure was not performed, as evidenced by the answer of the Acting Head of the Mozyr District Police Department," argues the activist.
Mr. Tseliapun reminds that picketing is a public expression of political, group, personal or other interests or protest by citizens. “What public expression can be realized at the “Spartacus” and “Palesse” stadiums, protected by high fences?” wonders the applicant.
At the trial, Uladzimir Tseliapun twice solicited for holding the court hearings and declaring the verdict in the Belarusian language. The court rejected the petition and did not provide a written document confirming the refusal. Thus, the court did not comply with the law "On Appeals of Citizens".
The Court also rejected the petition for the presence of a prosecutor at the trial.
During the registration of the appeal at the prosecutor's office the human rights activist again faced with the problem – lack of knowledge of the Belarusian language by public officials. "The prosecutor's office also told me that they would give me an answer in the Russian language. According to the secretary, they did not have a typewriter with a Belarusian font and computers with Belarusian fonts. When I remarked that it would be interesting to see the computer on which it was impossible to set a Belarusian font, the secretary replied that "the prosecutor is Russian and he doesn't have command of the Belarusian language". Are there no workers at the whole prosecutor's office who would know the Belarusian language within their office competence? Then we will have to look for such people at the regional prosecutor's office and at the office of Prosecutor General,” remarked Uladzimir Tseliapun.
In 2011-12 in the court verdicts his arguments were presented in Belarusian. "Perhaps, they were reprinted from my the appeals. Now they don't do even this. Even if you ask to be provided with a court verdict in the Belarusian language, the Belarusian courts which administer justice on behalf of the Republic of Belarus do not abide by the laws they shall protect,” summed up the human rights activist.