Brest district authorities ban three protests against worsening living standards

2012 2012-02-20T15:54:59+0300 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en

The Brest District Executive Committee has rejected three applications from opposition activists for permission to stage demonstrations in local villages in protest against plunging living standards.

The members of the "Spravedlivy Mir" (Just World) Belarusian Party of the Left (BPL) had planned to demonstrate in Stradzech, Znamenka and Damachava, Anatol Novik, chair of the opposition party’s district organization, told BelaPAN on Saturday.

They said in their applications that no more than 15 people would take part in each demonstration.

In their reply, the city authorities said that one organizer had failed to conclude contracts with police, a hospital and a street cleaning service as required by applicable regulations, another applicant had entered an incorrect birth date, while one more organizer had submitted the application late.

“Our activists filed all the applications on February 3, 15 days before the planned event as required,” said Mr. Novik. “They also faxed copies. As for the contracts, it is unrealistic to conclude them. We made an attempt once and were told that we should first obtain approval for the demonstration.”

“The authorities fear demonstrations like death,” he said. “They understand that the population’s discontent with the social and economic situation in the country is increasing and do everything to prevent possible popular protests.”

Mr. Novik added that BPL activists across the district planned to file next month at least 15 applications for permission to stage demonstrations against worsening living standards.

Earlier this week, the Baranavichy city authorities banned a local BPL activist from staging a similar demonstration in the city of the Brest region.

The authorities said that the applicant, Eduard Karapetaw, had failed to conclude contracts with police, a hospital and a street cleaning service.