People with photo cameras are unwelcome at Salihorsk District Court

2012 2012-06-06T00:16:57+0300 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

At the end of the previous week “Young Front” activist Andrei Tychyna came to the Salihorsk District Court in order to file an appeal. However, he wasn’t let in by the duty policeman, as he had a photo camera with him.

It is worth saying that it is far from the first such case. Last year a similar thing happened to “Young Front” activist Illia Shyla who was trying to get to the trial over participants of silent protest actions.  He filed an inquiry with the Salihorsk Guard Department, and received a written answer, signed by the deputy head, A. Albut. As it was stated there, according to the especial duties of the duty policeman, adopted in May 2010 by the head of the Salihorsk branch of the Guard Department and the head of the Salihorsk District Court, “the duty policeman is prohibited to let to the court any people with audio and video equipment, photo cameras and portable computers without the judge’s permission”.

The situation is quite strange, as people are prohibited not to use such equipment, but even to be present at court in case they have it with them. Salihorsk human rights defenders consider it is an evident violation of the right to access, keep and disseminate information, guaranteed by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Constitution.

Moreover, such regime at the Salihorsk District Court contradicts to the Belarusian Law “On Information”, according to which any information, access to which is not limited, must be considered as generally accessible, whereas legal restrictions can be imposed only by legislative acts of the Republic of Belarus, not some “special duties” of police guards.

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