Activist in Mahiliou requests responsibility for breaking law on citizens’ petitions
Valadar Tsurpanau, an activist in Mahiliou, has written to the Constitutional Court asking to consider the return of responsibility for violating the law on petitions of citizens and legal entities. According to him, only liability under Art. 9.13 of the Administrative Code will be able to stop the practice, when Belarusian-language petitions are replied in Russian by officials.
On July 11, 2014, a new version of the Code of Administrative Offences was released, which was amended to remove responsibility for not answering in the same language, although formally such action is a violation of law.
Valadar Tsurpanau stresses that there is no real protection of the rights of Belarusian citizens, who are thus subjected to certain discrimination.
The activist says that his 15-year-old practice of relations with the government, as well as some examples of violations, when other citizens suffered from these violations, force him to conclude that the law on languages in the Republic of Belarus is invalid exactly due to lack of means for its implementation.
Tsurapanau believes that the best solution is merging the Law on Languages with the provisions of Part 1, Article 18 of the Law on Petitions in the relevant articles of the Administrative Code, which would contain the real mechanisms of protection of the rights of Belarusian citizens during their intercourse with officials.