2010 22/03
За кратамі ў "Дзень Волі", А.Камароўскі

In custodial sentence on the Freedom Day, А.Каmarouski (2009)

On the eve of Freedom Day on March 25 the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva received another comment in the communication exchange with the UN Human Rights Committee on the complaint by Aliaksandr Kamarouski (Zhodzina). On 23.03.2008 after a peaceful event dedicated to the Freedom Day and the 90th anniversary of the BNR (Belarusian People’s Republic, marked in Belarus and worldwide on March 25) when flowers were lain to the memorial obelisk “Heroes Live Forever” in Zhodzina civil society activists Yury Zhilka, Aliaksandr Kamarouski, Pavel Krasouski and Yury Silkin were arrested and sentenced to 7 days of imprisonment each.

This occurred despite the fact that the organizers refused their initial claims (which were banned by the executive committee) for peaceful and festive events (rallies, concerts and a festive procession) and notified the citizens about it.

Even after this unjustified ban and the violation of the town residents’ right to peaceful assembly and free dissemination of information, the authorities found reasons to prosecute the applicants for their initiative, timed to coincide with Freedom Day.

The targeted tracing of their actions on that day, subsequent detention and such a severe punishment only for the fact that of festive commemoration of the heroes of Belarus, who were fighting to defend the freedom of the country, looks like a deliberate reprisal, intimidation and persecution for political and public activity, shown in honour of the significant for the Belarusian state independence date.

Аляксей Лапіцкі

The human rights defender Aliaksei Lapitski, who also suffered from the actions of “disguised persons” on the day (as a result of an attack by unknown persons, his photos were forcibly erased) in this regard noted:

– March 25, the day of the proclamation of the Belarusian People’s Republic, is a momentous historical date, which was a significant step towards the revival of Belarusian statehood.

The government, that cares about the people, should have been grateful for such a civil initiative. Moreover, it would have supported the activists. The repressive and nervous harassment of the applicants of the banned celebrations ahead of Freedom Day in Zhodzina, the provocative actions by a groups of dressed in civilian clothes intelligence personnel, obstacles to journalists and human rights defenders (photos and videos were confiscated and destroyed by men in civilian clothes)… are an evidence that the Belarusian national idea and the idea of civil society in a democratic and legal Belarus do not fit into the framework of the official ideology of the ruling regime.

Meanwhile, decisions to prohibit peaceful assemblies of citizens, for whom all this is important, continue to be developed by absolutely non-national, undemocratic and legally unconscious “unusually correct ideology official.”

Ales Volny,

Belarusian Legal Portal,


Photo: Siarhei Hudzilin, Zhodzina

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