CEC Admits: It Is ILLEGAL to Prosecute People for Spreading Anti-referendum Printed Materials without Imprint

2004 2004-10-15T10:00:00+0300 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

Last week Baranavichy BELPOSHTA post offices spread printed materials calling on citizens to say “yes” at referendum. The leaflets have no publisher’s imprint. They are signed by regional organization of Belarusian Union of Women, regional organization of Belarusian Union of Afghanistan War Veterans, regional organization of Veterans’ Association, and a number of people who are famous in the region (including Olympic gold medal winner Yulia Nestserenko).

Siarhei Andrushchanka, UCP candidate in Baranavichy election district, applied to CEC about violation of procedure of spreading agitation printed materials. CEC chairperson Lidya Yarmoshyna replied that the materials (even without imprint!) “do not violate the law independently of circulation or the way they are distributed”.
Lidya Yarmoshyna continues: “We draw your attention to the fact that requirements of putting imprint on campaign materials apply only to campaign materials produced by candidates”. This sounds especially cynical on the background of mass detentions, fines, removals of some candidates for alleged distribution of anti-referendum leaflets without imprint, searches and seizures of such printed materials from candidates’ headquarters and party offices.
Thus, it turns out that hundreds of Belarusian citizens are ILLEGALY prosecuted for distribution of anti-referendum materials without imprint. In this situation all the prosecuted have legal grounds to apply to prosecutor’s offices with the demand to cancel the penalties and return the illegally confiscated printed materials.

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