Council of Ministers violates the law on citizens' appeals
The Council of Ministers has sent an answer to Tamara Sialiun, the mother of an executed death row convict Pavel Sialiun, to her request to initiate an audit of the compliance of Article 175 of the Criminal Executive Code to the Constitution of Belarus.
The response, signed by the head of department for work with applications of citizens and legal entities L. Astrouski, reads:
"Please be informed that on May 4, 2015 the Presidium of the Council of Ministers made the decision to dismiss your request for making an inquiry to the Constitutional Court about the audit of the compliance of Article 175 of the Criminal Executive Code with the Constitution of the Republic of Belarus".
However, such unreasoned response does not meet the requirements to written replies to complaints of citizens, in violation of the Law "On applications of citizens and legal entities" (Part 1, Article 18), which states:
"Written responses to written appeals must be justified and motivated (if necessary - with reference to legislative acts) and contain specific wording confirming or refuting the arguments of the applicants.
If the written replies to a written appeal contains the decision about complete or partial refusal to grant the demands of the applicant, or leaving the appeal without substantive consideration, such responses must indicate the order of their appeal."
Tamara Sialiun has already filed an appeal with the Maskoŭski District Prosecutor's Office of Minsk regarding such answer of the Council of Ministers.
So far, answers have been submitted by the Supreme Court, the Chamber of Representatives and the Council of the Republic of the National Assembly.
Let us remind that the Leninski District Court of Hrodna refused to institute civil proceedings against the Department of Corrections Ministry of Interior on Tamara Sialiun's request concerning the sending of Pavel's prison robe to her. The Constitutional Court also stated that in order to get initiated amendments to the Criminal Code Tamara Sialiun needed to appeal to the state bodies which had the right to legislative initiative, not to the court directly. After this, the mother of the executed submitted the appropriate appeals to all such bodies: President of the Republic of Belarus, the Chamber of Representatives of the National Assembly of the Republic of Belarus, the Council of the Republic of the National Assembly off the Republic of Belarus, the Supreme Court of the Republic of Belarus and the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus.
Pavel Sialiun was sentenced to death and executed on April 18, 2014. About a month later, his mother Tamara Sialiun was sent the clothes in which he had been awaiting execution. The exact time of the execution and the place of his burial weren't reported to the mother.