2011 13/11
Навошта лёгіка ...!?

What is the logic ...!?

It turns out that the authorities of Zhodzina and Vitsebsk have different tactical approaches to the prohibition of peaceful assembly of citizens. However, they have one thing in common – the desire to forbid what they are obliged to guarantee to their citizens in accordance with constitutional and international legal norms.

Thus, in sessions of October 7, 13 and 17 on the complaint of human rights defenders Aliaksey Lapitsky and Sviatlana Lapitskaya the authorities of Zhodzina had the courage to abandon absolutely stupid and illegal demands for the organizers to sign contracts and to obtain a permit prior to the date of getting the permission from executive committee. So they, it should be read as, in fact excluded the possibility to prohibit peaceful assemblies declared on such grounds in the future.

At the same time, Vitsebsk “vertical officials” continue to hold their ground and demand from human rights activist Leanid Svetsik and other applicants of peaceful activities in the region almost impossible, despite the apparent illogicality and illegality of such claims. The local judges in such circumstances seem to be deprived of elementary logic of law and continue to support the local vertical “to the bitter end….”

Thus, the provision of local authorities under number 881, which keeps citizens from assembling peacefully in Vitsebsk says that “in cases when a mass event occurs without the participation of public authorities, organizers of the event must attach to the application of a mass gathering the following agreements:

– with the Department of Internal Affairs of Vitsebsk regional executive committee or the department of internal affairs of the district administration of Vitsebsk, in whose territory the event is planned – on the protection of public order during the event;

– With the establishment of health “Vitsebsk city center clinic” – for medical care during the event;

– With a unitary communal enterprise “Vitsebsk city housing and communal services”, – provision of clean-up after holding the event”.

Леанід Сьвецік, Віцебск

Leanid Svetsik, Vitsebsk

Leanid Svetsik notes in this regard:

– So, citizens according to the decision of the authorities are obliged to enter into specific agreements. However, those with whom the contracts shall be concluded have no duties – no law or regulation requires anything from them. Therefore, when making their decisions they are guided by some personal thoughts: if they want – they will conclude a contract, if they don’t want to – they will not conclude.

But in practice, nobody was lucky to overcome the hurdle of the decision № 881 delivered by the authorities.

Moreover, the decision № 881, according to human rights activist from Vitsebsk, is contrary to the law of the Republic of Belarus “On Protection of Consumer Rights”. Because a person who wants to conduct a mass action is obliged by the authorities to use paid services of specific state law enforcement agencies, health and community services. However, even if it is to be accepted, in accordance with the law, a user has the freedom of consumer choice. It’s entirely his right to decide to which exactly organization providing these services he or she will address. The decision of the Executive Committee defines concrete performers, thus citizens are denied the right for choice.

And, in general, if an action is planned to be carried out in a place specially designated by the authorities for such actions, it can not be assumed that “the event takes place without the involvement of public authorities” – says Leanid Svetsik. So, – he develops his idea, – the decision № 881, part 3 cannot be even applied to this action, and no law enforcement officers, doctors and caretakers are to be entered contracts.

Аляксей Лапіцкі, Жодзіна

Аliaksey Lapitski, Zhodzina

Aliaksey Lapitsky comments the situation:

– It is worth noting that the item of local legislation mentioned above, to which the authorities of Vitsebsk refer when banning peaceful assembly of citizens, is contrary to Article 23 and 35 of the Constitution, and Article 19, 21 and 26 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

In particular, the authorities perform their powers and functions on coordination of local public institutions activities to guarantee the constitutional rights and freedoms of citizens, citizens of Belarus. Separation of peaceful assembly (holding which can be legally limited only under weighty reasons, legislated in the article 23 of the Constitution and Art. 21 of the Covenant on the grounds of “participation” or “non-participation” of authorities bodies, but in fact on the basis of loyalty of the authorities to applicants) is completely contrary to the Constitution and the International Covenant – the legal imperative of the law. Due to the fact that the requirements of local authorities are contrary to the constitutional and international legal norms which regulate relations between citizens and government – they can not be based on law and be lawful.

Indeed, the court session in Zhodzina proved and recorded in the court minutes the fact of recognition of the illogical and unfounded claims of the representative of authorities from the peaceful assembly organizers of conclusion of any such like contracts before they received permission from the executive committee. This conclusion was confirmed by the officially received answers request from militia agencies, physicians and public utilities, which stated that any agreement of the management of these institutions could enter into contract only upon the existing permission from the authorities to carry out the declared peaceful mass action. Clearly, such subordination of institutions with the executive committee exists in Vitsebsk.

Therefore, the reluctance of Vitsebsk courts to see and acknowledge the obvious makes us think that the logic of law, as well as ordinary logic is just deliberately ignored here. Facts recognized by Zhodzina authorities as illogical are declared lawful and justified in Vitsebsk (!?). For this reason we can talk about the level of professionalism and legal consciousness of the employees of the executive and the judicial system in Belarus.

The evidence suggests that peaceful assemblies of citizens are prohibited here because of completely illegal exceeding powers, on the basis of far-fetched and legally groundless various misconduct which violate the Constitution and the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights.

This discriminating and a completely lawless situation in which civil society of the country exists, demeans the honor and dignity of every citizen of the Republic of Belarus. For each of law-abiding citizens believe that they live in a country where the Fundamental Law operates and their rights must be guaranteed by the State and each entity of government, where the Court is the final arbiter of truth and in accordance with the law can protect violated constitutional rights.

In summary one can only hope that this provision is shameful mockery over rights and freedoms of citizens will not last long. Indeed, otherwise only deepens the conflict between law and principles of the functioning executive government and leads to destabilization and legal anarchy in the country. And the last is no way to be tolerated in any European country, which proclaims itself a democratic state, aims to stability, peace, sustainable development and sustained prosperity.

Recent historical examples show that it is impossible to be successful and to build stability in fear, discrimination and suppression of dissent force in society. It is impossible to become rich at the cost of bullying constitutional rights of citizens and their fundamental and inalienable democratic freedoms.

Any combinations of power, which do not operate in a predictable and understandable way, with the effective law but under the principles of expediency, ideological nomenclature and command dictates are doomed to ignominious failure.

Quoting “For Human Rights”,
Prepared by Ales Volny,
Belarusian Legal Portal,

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