Citizens have to apply in advance to be admitted to sittings of Mahiliou Regional Council
Mahiliou journalist Uladzimir Laptsevich has received a reply from the Mahiliou regional Council to his request. The BelaPAN journalist asked the authorities to indicate the concrete legal act, accoridng to which he was obliged to apply for being admitted to open sittings of sessions of the Mahiliou Regional Council.
In response, Chairman of the regional council wrote that the work of the council is organized on the basis of the regulations of the council, point 23 of which reads that the number and composition of the invited persons is determined by the chairman of the council.
Thus, the Chairman of the Mahiliou Regional believes that the regulations of the regional council
allow him to determine which mass media can be admitted to the sittings of the representative body. It means that the authorities consider these regulations superior to the laws of the Republic of Belarus “On Mass Media” and “On "On Local Government and Self-government", which do not allow illegal restriction of freedom of information and set publicity as the basic principle of local self-government.
Uladzimir Laptsevich has been trying to get to sittings of the Mahiliou Regional Council for more than a year already. However, he is getting refusals all the time with references to the regulations of the council.
On January 21, 2015, the Leninski District Court found such actions of the Mahiliou Council legitimate.