Brest authorities confirm ban on picket of solidarity with political prisoners
Human rights defenders in Biaroza have received a reply from the Brest Regional Executive Committee signed by the deputy chairman Leanid Tsupryk. The letter concerned an earlier decision of the Biaroza executive committee to ban a picket scheduled for March 25.
The ban referred to one of its expected subjects: “Citizens of Statkevich, Alinevich, Dziadok, Vaskovich, Prakapenka and Rubtsou, which you refer to as "political prisoners" in your request to hold a mass event on 9 March 2015, were convicted on various articles of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Belarus. This includes such crimes as the organization of mass disorders, hooliganism committed by a group of persons, deliberate destruction or damage of property, insult of the judge.”
Human rights activists Siarhei Rusetski and Tamara Shchapiotkina, as well as civil society activist Tatsiana Tarasevich asked to overturn the ban. The purpose of the picket was marking the anniversary of the Belarusian People’s Republic, as well as expressing solidarity with political prisoners and demanding their release. The authorities of Biaroza said that objectives of the picket included inciting ethnic hatred.