Homel court denies UCP activists the right to remind the public about the kidnapped ex-Minister of MIA

2013 2013-08-28T15:31:35+0300 2013-08-28T15:31:35+0300 en https://spring96.org/files/images/sources/zaharanka-gomel-1.jpg The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

Judge of the Tsentralny District Court of Homel Maryna Damnenka dismissed the appeal of activists of the United Civil Party against the ban of the twenty pickets they intended to hold on 7 May 2013 in different parts of Homel in order to remind about the kidnapping of Yury Zakharanka.

The court found that the UCP activists have no right to remind the citizens about the kidnapped former interior minister.

“Around the world, the right to peaceful assembly of citizens is not absolute and is subject to certain restrictions which must necessarily be provided by law and are necessary for the aims provided by Article 23 of the Constitution. In particular, the restriction of rights and liberties is admissible for the interests of the national security, public order, morality, health and rights and freedoms of others,” commented the head of the Homel regional UCP organization Zinaida Shumilina.

“How can a procession be held at the ground in front of the culture house of the deaf “Vipra” if this format provides the movement of a group of people along the carriage way with the aim to draw the public attention to certain issues? I am surprised at the fact that the decision of the executive committee passed registration at the National register of legal acts, because as a result the thesis “if you want to express your views in public – you shall pay” has acquired the weight of a legal norm,” commented the UCP activist Natallia Shchukina.

“Due to the action of the aforementioned ruling in Homel the city authorities haven't authorized any out of more than 150 planned peaceful assemblies during the last ten years. On the contrary, the mass events which are organized by the authorities are held in the center of the city on a regular basis, and the police, medical services and the public utilities work
there on a non-paid basis,” resents the 82-year-old party member Mikhail Tsimashenka.

We believe that the city authorities put in danger the very principle of freedom of peaceful assemblies of citizens. We intend to prove it, including, if necessary, at the UN Human Rights Committee. The local authorities and courts leave us no choice,” said the UCP member Leanid Sudalenka, the lawyer who represented the interests of the plaintiffs at the trial.