Salihorsk: ban on Human Rights Day picket appealed to court of cassation
Human rights activist Leanid Markhotka has filed an appeal in the Minsk Regional Court to challenge a decision of the court of Salihorsk district which dismissed his earlier appeal against a ban imposed on a picket scheduled for Human Rights Day.
In late January, Judge Ala Trafimchuk rejected the human rights activist’s complaint and, referring to Article 5 of the Law “On Mass Events”, said that the ban was legitimate. According to the court ruling, the picket was banned with reference to decision No. 700 “On measures to prevent accidents and rule of law during mass events” adopted by the district executive committee on 7 October 2004. In accordance with this decision, the city’s central square is an improper venue for holding peaceful assemblies, which are not related to activities are carried out by a decision of the executive committee on public holidays. Judge Ala Trafimchuk also said that the activist’s request to charge local authorities with ensuring public order and security during the picket was illegal.
Leanid Markhotka argues that the arguments and the judgment of the court of Salihorsk district contradict the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Constitution of the Republic of Belarus. The human rights activist hopes that representatives of the Minsk Regional Court will find the courage to take a fair decision on the matter. Otherwise, Mr. Markhotka plans to appeal to the UN Human Rights Committee.