Baranavichy human rights activist asks prosecutor to respond to illegal actions of executive committee
Human rights activist Siarhei Housha has sent a statement to the Baranavichy Interdistrict Prosecutor concerning a decision of the city executive committee of December 5, 2014, which banned a rally expected to mark the anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
The executive committee banned the picket on the grounds that the applicants did not fulfill the requirement of Article 5 of the Law “On Mass Events” and paragraph 4 of the executive committee’s decision of June 16, 2009 without specifying any particular reasons for the ban. Siarhei Housha believes that city authorities violated Article 6 of the Mass Media Law which says that the authorities should provide reasons when imposing a ban.
The human rights activist stresses that the officials did not send a timely response to the applicants, which again violated provisions of Article 6 of the Mass Events Act. In accordance with the Law, the organizer should be notified of the decision by head of the executive body or his deputy not later than five days before the event. The applicants received a decision just one day before the scheduled date of the rally, as evidenced by a stamp on the envelope, which he attached to his complaint to the prosecutor.
The civil society activist also points out that in addition to the Law and the decisions of the city executive committee officials should be guided by the Council of Ministers’ decision of March 5, 2012, which obliges the executive power to forward within 24 hours the application to local law-enforcement authorities for organizing the protection of its participants. The human rights activist believes that instead of bringing its decision on mass events in accordance with the decision of the Council of Ministers, local officials illegally urge applicants to sign an agreement with the police. And on the basis that such a contract is not submitted together with the application, they are not given permission to hold the event.
Siarhei Housha asks the Prosecutor to reverse the decision of the executive committee and to bring to justice not only deputy chairman of the executive committee Zakharchuk for violating the terms for responding to his application, but also representatives of the executive committee who are responsible for the implementation of the government’s regulations and timely introduction of changes in the decision of the Baranavichy city executive committee.