Vitebsk: Campaign posters produced, not allowed for posting

2008 2008-09-19T12:56:00+0300 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

Candidate in Vitebsk-Chyhunachnaya district # 19 Andrei Levinau produced 300 campaign posters. However, in the majority of cases it turned out it is impossible to post them. Heads of state institutions and organizations either refuse to post them or allow doing that, but call the next day, apologize and say they have to take them down on the order of the local administration.


Andrei Levinau made 112 inquiries if he could post his campaign poster. In 109 cases he was refused. In 3 cases posters were allowed, but in one of them the decision was cancelled later.


What happened with the poster in Pryvakzalny market of Vitebsk is quite revealing. With the permission and under supervision of deputy market director Levinau posted his poster near the market entrance. Soon the poster disappeared. The deputy director explained, she had received such “instructions” “from higher officials”.


The team did not manage to post the posters at the doors of post offices and Vesta stores. Top managers of these organizations claim, they are not competent of making such decisions on their own. Director of store Vesta # 81 explained, even if she received the instructions to come to work naked she would do what she was told, because she really wanted to keep the job.


Police department of Chyhunachny rayon of Vitebsk, where Andrei Levinau had served as a police officer until recently, also refused to post his poster.


Some organizations explain, they can post only the campaign materials they have received from the local administration. When they are asked, whose poster they had already received that way, they show the posters of the official candidate Siarhei Siamashka.  


The candidate had to address the district commission with a complaint about counteraction he experienced with his campaign.


Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections