Minsk court turns down appeal against picket ban
On November 21, the court of the Maskouski district of Minsk considered an appeal against a decision of the Minsk City Executive Committee, which banned a picket of solidarity with Ukraine citing obviously far-fetched reasons, the press service of the Committee “Solidarity” reports.
In support of the ban, Deputy Chairman of the Minsk City Executive Committee Ihar Karpenka wrote that the picket would not contribute to the preservation and improvement of greenery, would interfere with pedestrians and traffic, would not contribute to the implementation of the traffic rules. The officials referred to Article 9 of the Law “On Mass Events in Belarus”.
During the court session, another representative of the Minsk City Executive Committee, Mr. Uralski announced more absurd claims to the applicant. He argued that Uladzimir Andryenka, who applied for holding the picket, should have attached a map with the exact location where the picketer would be standing, concluded an agreement in advance with the police and other structures. The activist also should have considered weather conditions, as they would also be taken into account when deciding on approval of the event.
Despite the fact that the decision of the city authorities violated the rights of citizens guaranteed by the Constitution and are contrary to standards of international law, the judge found the appeal unreasonable and dismissed it.
“We plan to further appeal the decision of the District Court to the Minsk City Court. We also plan to reapply in order to meet every, even absurd, demand and see what they will come up with to ban the event,” says the applicant Uladzimir Andryenka.
The picket was expected to be part of a so-called carousel of pickets of solidarity with Ukraine. However, all applications have been dismissed by the Minsk city executive committee, citing formal and uncomprehending reasons.