2013 01/08

City officials refused to consider a request for picketing in support of Ales Bialiatsky, claimed on August 4 from 6 p.m to 7 p.m at the main concert court of Zhodzina City Culture and Recreation Park.

One of the applicants and the person responsible for organizing a peaceful protest in Zhodzina, the human rights defender Aliaksiey Lapitsky noted that “the authorities of local government of the city quite deliberately and willfully were continuing to make artificial insurmountable obstacles in the realization of citizens’ constitutional rights and freedoms. This is a clear and evident excess of jurisdiction and a permanent commitment by any means to discriminate members of civil society, to limit their right to peaceful assembly, expression of views, participation in public life”.

On July 29 the applicants of the picketing in support of the imprisoned human rights activist Ales Bialiatsky quite unexpectedly received a registered letter from GTMA (City Hospital) and a registered letter from Zhodzina Executive Committee at the Main Post Office. The two registered letters were registered at the post under July 26, but hadn’t reached the addressee yet.

Deputy Chief Physician of GTMA U.Tsyolta in response to the request of human rights defenders on the conclusion of the contract, stated in the decree №1020 p. 5 of Zhodzina Executive Committee, presented a detailed calculation of costs for the provision of “additional health services” during the picketing ordered (numbering 1-2, maximum 10 people). City hospital even included physicians’ income – 32 560,1 rubles (!?), and the total amount charged and calculated such a strange way was 370 thousand rubles (!?).

The letter from Zhodzina Executive Committee, meanwhile, signed by the first ideology deputy Y.Shary on 25.07.2013, noted that “… the request of a mass gathering (picketing) in Zhodzina planned on August 4, 2013 from 6 p.m. to 7.30 p.m. can not be considered …”. The reason for this was said to be the fact that the documents submitted “did not meet the requirements of p. 5” of the decree #1020 mentioned above, which had concrete instructions to attach copies of contracts with public utilities, police and medics to the appeal for a mass gathering.

In connection with this, Aliaksiey Lapitsky immediately filed a statement to Zhodzina Executive Committee with a proposal to take into account the responses of the housing and public utilities sector, and the police department as an evidence of nonfulfillment the requirements stipulated by the local authorities to the applicants of the peaceful assembly in Zhodzina. They also suggested the officials to consider the request for the picketing properly and take a positive decision to permit picketing on August 4 from 6 p.m to 7 p.m. at the main concert area of Zhodzina City Culture and Recreation Park.

Aliaksiey Lapitsky:
– This is another evident and deliberate ban of a peaceful assembly in Zhodzina, which was set when the applicants received the actual evidences that the requirements put by the Executive Committee has been the usual obstacles in citizens’ realizing their inherent rights and freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).

– Along the way, in fact, it turned out that the Executive Committee also deprived Zhodzina hospital management of the dreams about planned revenue in the amount of 370 thousand rubles with a profit of 32 560,1 BYR. They would have got this money from the human rights picketing in Zhodzina.

Alexei Lapitsky:

– Probably so! (Laughs)

In addition, it is interesting to note that we, as the applicants, received official responses to our appeals from the Public Utilities Services (I.Drozd), Department of Internal Affairs (A.Chynkin) and City Hospital (U.Tsyolta), in which it came as follows:

– Public utilities (with reference to the decree of the executive committee #1020 p.5) noted their “illegality in drafting contracts for cleaning territories after holding public events…”;
– Police motivated its refusal to make a contract with the applicants of the picketing with the reference to articles 4 and 5 of the Law “On Mass Events in the Republic of Belarus” and “exclusive competence of Zhodzina City Executive Committee” to “take decisions on the merits” of such appeals on contracts;
– Health Care Services (as seen above) presented a surprising calculation and probable (from their point of view) costs (and profits, too)) instead of the contract (in which the contracting parties should be involved).

“All together it shows the obvious unjust, illegal and confusing for these legal public entities procedure of the conclusion of agreements required by the executive committee with citizens who act as events’ applicants. The basic constitutional rights and freedoms of citizens are to be necessarily guaranteed by the state (Executive Committee and other state institutions coordinated) within the planned activities”
, – said the human rights activist.

Thus, in spite of the practical impossibility to comply with the demands raised by the authorities against the applicants of the event in Zhodzina by the decree number 1020 paragraph 5 of Zhodzina Executive Committee of 27.06.2013, nonconformity requirements of the law on mass events and the current legislation, and the international obligations of the country, city council of Zhodzina once again did not allow holding pickets in support of a famous human rights activist Ales Bialiatsky illegally sentenced to 4.5 years in prison.

Upon the receipt of unwarranted refusal, the applicants in Zhodzina made their last attempt to convince the officials from the Executive Committee to rethink their approaches and permit the picketing of solidarity on 4 August 2013.


1) The answer from the Executive Committee of 25.07.2013

2) Additional appeal to the Executive Committee of 29.07.2013.

3) Calculation of the costs and revenues for the applicants to pay attached to the official response to a request for a contract.

Belarusian Legal Portal

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