2013 21/11

Alaksiej Łapicki, Žodzina

Trial on the prohibition of public rally in Zhodzina in support of Ales Bialiatski and other political prisoners in Belarus was held from 11a.m. to 1.30 p.m. on November 21, 2013 in the building of Zhodzina City Court chaired by Judge Ivan Grynkevich. Today, the parties spoke at a debate…

The applicants in the case, human rights defenders from Zhodzina Aliaksei Lapitski and Sviatlana Lapitskaya, who claimed a picket of solidarity with Belarusian human rights activist Ales Bialiatski and were denied the right to hold it in Zhodzina on August 4, presented another evidence in support of their position.

The applicants’ request to add photocopies of protocols on the case № 2-1893 2011 (judge Tatsiana Tratsiuk) was granted, and it showed that at that time in absence of Decision № 1020 from 27.07.2012 (which introduced new requirements to add contracts with the militia, health care and community services to applications to the Executive Committee) a peaceful assembly occurred to be prohibited under this very cause. Requirements of the interested party representative Volha Verhel to applicants (and therefore motivation of picketing ban) during 4 hearings chaired by Tatsiana Tratsiuk (now chairman of Zhodzina Court) have significantly changed. First it was the requirement “to add contracts to the appeal” but after receiving negative responses from the militia department, public utilities, and health care services about the impossibility of coming into such contracts with the applicants of a peaceful assembly without a permit from the executive committee, – she recognized the initial requirements of the executive committee to add agreement to the application “unreasonable”. She noted that to get the permission from the Executive Committee, the applicants only have to make it clear to local authorities that they are willing to enter into such payment arrangements, and at the end of the discussion she said that if the applicants would have found another way (!?) of ensuring public order, health protection and cleanup after the event, the Executive Committee “would consider such a way”.
That is, although the judgment was still made in favor of the Executive Committee, a representative of the interested party has shown that its requirements to apply contract to applications on peaceful assemblies from citizens of Zhodzina is not based on law and is impracticable. These circumstances would be enough to recognize that the ban of the picketing in Zhodzina illegal, but Zhodzina court acted differently. At the same time, a separate decision was made by the Executive Committee’s violation of Law “On Mass Events” regarding postal communication with applicants, as well as a fully approved remarks on the report, in which (among other things) the facts mentioned above are fixed.

Further actions of Zhodzina Executive Committee in finding ways to legitimize illegal and almost unrealistic demands to come into payment agreements with militia, health care and public utilities and adding them to applications (which resulted the decision № 1020 from 27.07.2013) look like the attempts to do these “unreasonable” and “impossible” requirements of the Executive Committee “the primary responsibility” and a real barrier for applicants of a peaceful assembly in the town of BelAZ – Zhodzina.

Following the presentation of the interested party Volha Verhel, Zhodzina human rights defender Aliaksiei Lapitski expressed his opinion. He also recalled each of the victims of administrative proceedings and disproportionately hard punishment of 7 days arrest of Zhodzina citizens in 2008, who suffered for peaceful action of laying flowers to the monument of memory “Heroes live forever” – in this case, “Kamarouski against Belarus” assisted by the human rights activist from Zhodzina UNCHR recently recognized violations by Belarus Article 19 and Article 21 ICHPR.

Immediately thereafter, the court stopped its work until 9.30 am of 22.11.2013, when the hearing will be continued with the opportunity for the representative of the interested party to reply…

Ales Volny,
Belarusian Legal Portal
Photo by Ales Lapitski

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