2010 15/06
Alaksiej Lapicki

Alaksiej Lapicki

Human rights activists from Zhodzina submitted a supervisory complaint to the Chairman of Minsk regional court Valery Kraiko pointing out rude procedural violations, negligence of the Constitution and International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) in the case about violation of the right to freedom of peaceful assembly in Zhodzina.

Acting Chairperson of Zhodzina city court, Judge Tatsyana Tratsyuk, on January 27, 2010 adopted a negative decision on this case. Thereby, on February 01, 2010 the appeal was submitted to Minsk regional court.

However, the Chamber of Minsk regional court chaired by Judge Kulakova using the same argumentation as the court in Zhodzina, and even the same phrases for illegal interpretation of the applicant’s position, which were given in the court of first instance – supported the negative court resolution on prohibition of peaceful event devoted to the Human Rights Day (December 12, 2009) in Zhodzina.

In his appeal (June 12, 2010) addressed to the Chairman of Minsk regional court Valery Kraiko, applicant Aliaksei Lapicki pointed out in particular that “the Chamber did not paid attention to the circumstances which came out and were examined during the trial”, and “exact legal argumentation and applicant’s position were ignored and withdrawn from the case”.

Human rights activist pointed out that during the trial in Zhodzina some strong and indisputable legal arguments of the applicant were just erased from the court records. Instead of clear stated and understandable argumentation either nothing was recorded or there was some “verbal abracadabra” which misrepresented the sense of everything that was said during the trail by the parties.

Aliaksei Lapicki gained the impression that acting this way the court fully and consciously tries to avoid legal value of absolutely clear and understandable constitutional rights set by international standards established in ICCPR. While all Belarusian entities and authorities should have followed those standards in its decisions. Neither Constitution of Belarus nor ICCPR, unfortunately, are perceived by Belarusian courts as a source of legal imperatives, international and universally recognized standards of law, which are obligatory to be used in national judicial practice of any member state of ICCPR and Optional Protocol to it.

As a result the Chamber without paying attention to the rights established in the “Ultimate law of Belarus” and International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights practically approved those ideologically motivated fiscal and restrictive approaches which are used by local authorities in Zhodzina for systematic prohibition of peaceful assembly in “the city of BELAZ”.

Ed.: Why do the authorities that say that they care about Belarusian citizens all the time so obviously and absolutely illegally restrict the inalienable constitutional rights and freedoms of Belarusian citizens, and so purposefully and logically degrade human dignity of Belarusians?!

Aliaksei Lapicki:

- Indeed, one might think that we, the citizens of Belarus, are not like citizens of other European countries, who live with a sense of human dignity and, through elections and via civil and political parties, control civil servants in power using effective procedures. And we have something and someone to monitor! And this is not power, but the society that have rights and freedoms and should control elected and accountable officials. Undoubtedly, the officials must, in accordance with “the Ultimate Law of the country” and international standards of law which have been fully incorporated into national legislation, guarantee the help in the realization of the entire spectrum of the inalienable constitutional rights and freedoms by its citizens.

Only in such circumstances is, indeed, possible to say that power is “not a “Barin” who lives at society’s expense” but “employee who works for all public enterprise.” And – for the sake of his master, the people…

- Why do we live not like other people!? Indeed, we are Europeans!

- The ideological positions in the Belarusian executive committees are now occupied by the people with the mentality of the Stagnation Era. They are stubborn, based on their own understanding of governmental priorities and the stability in society (but not the requirements of the law), and “faithfully” continue to “serve the ideals” of “the only right authoritarianism” in the country – to control, distribute, and even “trade” an inalienable constitutional right of citizens, completely violating “the Ultimate Law” and the international agreements on civil and political standards of law.

The ideologists protect the existing regime from unnecessary disturbance, denigrating, and “stealing the last penny” from the people of Belarus. After all, “the right to be called a Human” for any citizen with self-respect to himself and his country can be the only natural basis for further development of free and civilized, working and creative society.

Who can be irritated by a free citizen with respect to himself and his country? Who can be threatened by his position intended to realize his constitutional rights? Who can be scared by the citizens’ peaceful assembly?

An open and public discussion in the society on such simple, but extremely important for the sustainable development of society topic, – has never begun. Generally the discussion is only on what is permitted and among those who were allowed to.

We live while continual appropriate monologues and endless, paid from the national budget, individual PR companies are held, during the time of prohibition of information and totally ideological dictatorship, which is based on people’s fear to lose livelihood in the widespread economic and social dependence on monopoly managed means of production and sources of financing …

- So is it possible to be a worthy, creative, and, indeed, happy human being in this way organized society, which in practice works for absolutely different purposes?! And who is still able to say about his sole mission to protect robbed and frightened people after the deprivation of the people’s (each of us) elementary and inalienable human rights established in the Constitution?

- Extrapolation to other regions of Belarus negative experience of systematic restrictions on the practical implementation of social and political rights (ex. Zhodzina) provides a complete picture of the discriminatory system of ideological dictatorship that operates continuously and opposes the priorities of the constitutional system which is based on important legal imperatives (rather than the “telephone law” and “right concepts”), on rule of law and legitimacy in the country.

Indeed, today the sphere of social and political rights and constitutionally guaranteed democratic freedoms in Belarus is actually under strict ideological control. In these circumstances, it is not realistic to count on the activity of such influential and significant democratic mechanisms as elections.

In the circumstances of full restriction of the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association and information dissemination, free and informed choice is not possible. Nor can the activity of the legal mechanisms be possible in terms of ideological monopoly and cultivation of deceptive, completely false bureaucratically valuable priorities in the society.

Legal nihilism corrupts the powers that be. The Powers are becoming more cynical and impudent in their impunity. Judicial and law enforcement systems, as well as the elite which belongs to them, are gradually degrading. Corrupted or dependent on corrupted clan of officials “servants of the law” are becoming more professionally unfit. After all, they start to serve not to the law, but to the ideological dogmas, and “pro-governmental authorities” which have no shame.

Aliaksei Lapicki point out:

Monitoring human rights violations should not be just tracking or statement of illegal facts but also one of the instruments in the process of implementation of the standards of law, aimed at changes in legislation and elimination of unlawful practice, the development of legal consciousness and culture in the society. In addition to the articulation of problems and violations it should also include analysis and conclusions, planning further actions for positive changes.

Improvement of legal conditions in the society can be achieved through the further dissemination of information, consistent and persistent promotion of relevant interests. A democratic society can apply such feedback and activity to achieve sustainable development and progress.

But such changes, especially in social and political rights, for authoritarian system, which deliberately infringes democratic freedoms – are almost unsolvable. Only the system which is governed by responsible towards society and actually elected people who really perform their duties is capable to accept changes and improve for the good of the society. Only in situation of real elections and public control, the ruling elite actually would be really capable to guarantee its citizens, in practice, all recognized in the civilized world values of the rights, freedoms and democratic pluralism.

I am convinced that after such clarification of a current political situation there should be public awareness of the necessity to have a positive change, the subsequent formulation of the relevant tasks and searching of suitable ways for the best practical solution. Unified and consolidated civil action aimed at achieving common goals is the best engine of positive and effective change which unites the nation and realizes the potential of the society on the way to achieve civilized standards of economic and democratic development.

However, Belarus is waiting for a long time…

And even today – we should not lose our chance. We should finally get out from the trap of confrontational post-totalitarian way of thinking, to unit around freedom, democracy and independence of our country.

Homeland will show its appreciation to everyone. Because after receiving equal rights and freedoms with other citizens of the rest of free world community, each Belarusian finally would feel like a real member of a large process of creation of their own cozy home state. Creative civil engagement and energy are able to work a miracle when they are released of incessant ideological dictate and prohibitions.

Respect to ancestors, self-respect and belief in yourself, your strengths, in the people, the reliance on the valuable experience of the past would be born after the liberation from lies, depression and self-humiliation, and stereotypes of slave mentality and feelings of hostility … There is a place for all citizens in a free and lawful country who are able to realize their creative potential and ability in creation and development of its own European country.

And yet, what remains is to try to achieve step by step a logical outcome of the initiated strategic litigation, to direct our efforts to end discriminatory practices from the side of local “vertical”, systematic barriers in realization of the right to freedom of association, peaceful assembly, free dissemination of information, freedom of expression and beliefs…

Ales Volny,
Belarusian Legal Portal,
by.prava-by.info

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