Minsk authorities struggle against satellite dishes

2008 2008-04-08T17:53:36+0300 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

Minsk owners of satellite antennas received instructions from utility and municipal services. By 7 April they must file documents allowing installing dishes and air conditioners.

In particular, the dwellers of Savetski and Pershamaiski districts received such papers from the administration of their utility and municipal services, press service of the Belarusian Association of Journalists (BAJ) informs.

If the recommendations are not fulfilled, municipal services threat to bring citizens to administrative responsibility in proper term. The case is in the article 21.13 of the Administrative Code, ‘damage to architectural treatment of facade of a building’.

BAJ lawyers emphasized repeatedly that norms of the Administrative Code can be applied only to events that have taken place after the law coming into force – it means 1 March 2007. So, if the article 23.13 of the Administrative Code says about responsibility for damage to architectural treatment of buildings’ facades, including installing satellite antennas, law norms can be applied only to the people going to install them, not to those who have done it before.

‘The law has no retroactive affect, if it reduces the rights of a person. In this case ultimate demands of the authorities to remove antennas don’t meet the interests of citizens and work against their interests. So from legal point of view, it can be said that demands that citizens should remove antennas are unlawful,’ commented Mikhail Pastukhou, head of the BAJ Center of Legal Assistance to Media.