Vitsebsk authorities ban Freedom Day picket
Members of the CCP BPF applied for holding a picket to the Chyhunachny district administration, but officials have banned the rally. The reason for the ban is traditional: no service contracts from the police and ambulance.
Service contracts are required under a decision "On the organization of public events in Vitsebsk”. Such contracts should be signed in advance and submitted together with the application. But the police and the central clinic have never agreed to sign a contract with the activists, says member of the CCP BPF Yan Dziarzhautsau:
"Only the utility service has never refused to cooperate with us. This time, too, they said that they were ready to sign a contract. But the chief doctor of the clinic said that in early March he could not predict how busy the ambulance cars would be on March 25. Therefore, no contract can be signed. The police have also sent a usual answer: we will protect the rule of law at the picket, it does not need any agreement, but only if the picket is allowed. So again we face a vicious circle, in which we have been for six years already - since 2009, when the city authorities adopted their decision.”
Freedom Day celebrations are traditionally banned by local officials, and on March 25 the city is full of police patrols. Police officers and men in civilian clothes track all movements of civil society activists, paying particular attention to those who are trying to celebrate the independence of Belarus at least by laying flowers at the monument to Uladzimir Karatkevich.