2010 19/01


The first meeting on the complaint by Zhodzina human rights defenders against the local executive committee’s ban on peaceful mass events, applied for on 25.11.2009 for 10.12.2009 on the International Human Rights Day, was held on 18.01.2010 in the office of deputy chair of Zhodzina Court, Judge Tatsiana Tratsiuk.

It included oral (without the minutes) agreement on the positions of the parties in the case of the prohibition of peaceful pickets in Zhodzina marking the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The claimants were represented by Aliaksei Lapitski.

During the debate it became clear that the representative of the legal service of the executive committee did not know what specific security measures of the event were required, for example, to be indicate in the application by the organizers of the peaceful picketing when it was scheduled in an authorized for such purposes officially and specially prepared location. Aliaksei Lapitski’s inquiry on the issue was sincerely answered by the lawyer that to clarify that, the applicants must have applied to the ideological department of the Executive Committee… … …

A question arose, whether the “ideological division” knows (as can be seen, overriding the legal service in legal matters) the Law and the Constitution better than lawyers? And whether the ideology officials are familiar with such instruments in the field of human rights, as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, mandatory for implementation by Belarus and every legal entity on its territory?

Aliaksei Lapitski quoted Article 21 of the ICCPR and noted that when planning any activities, structural subdivisions of the executive power, such as the Belarusian Republican Youth Union (for example, in the field of youth policy) do not encounter such issues with the restriction of rights. Moreover, they, unlike the citizens, human rights defenders and representatives of the opposition, are forced to pre-pay the implementation of their own constitutional rights and liberties which the State has undertaken to unconditionally guarantee to each citizen. And whether it is legal to demand some extra cost for the execution of the functional responsibilities of the state budget services such as police, ambulance … that are already funded with tax deductions to the budget of the citizens of Belarus, for the implementation of the lawful rights to peaceful assembly by citizens! Do they perform their functional responsibilities only to individual, “ideologically correct” categories of citizens? So, maybe the others have already been enrolled in a separate “unofficial register” and are actually treated as non-citizens or citizens of another, lower grade!?

In this regard, attention was drawn to the methodical and consistent practice of bans by the authorities of any non-governmental civil initiative, discrimination against citizens who are involved in public and political initiatives, and complete inability to realize the inherent right to peaceful assembly in Zhodzina.

Aliaksei Lapitski: “Such discriminatory mayhem, with the ransom to the ruling political regime for their own inalienable Constitutional rights is not possible to imagine.”

The court scheduled the next preliminary meeting on the matter on 26.01.2010 and requested the representative of the executive committee of Zhodzina to submit a supplementary material in the form of written explanation of its position with justification motives for the prohibition of the peaceful picketing applied for 10.12.2009 by the human rights defenders.

Ales Leta,
Belarusian Legal Portal,

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