2014 26/02

At the end of 2013 BHC* chairman in Vitebsk Pavel Levinau sent to the district to the Pershamaiski district administration an application concerning his intention to celebrate the 10th of December, Human Rights Day, and hold a mass event in the form of a one-minute rally.

Deputy head Volga Gurchanka examined the application and denied to give her permission for the one-minute rally. Because the human rights activist had not provided agreements with the internal affairs bodies, public health authorities and housing and utilities infrastructure authorities. According to the decision of the Vitebsk city executive committee, the services of these bodies during the mass events are mandatory, even for holding a minute-long rally.

Levinau considered that his right to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly had been violated. According to the human rights activist, Ms. Gurchanka ignored Article 19 and 21 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which had been ratified by our country, and 6 (!) articles of the Constitution (Article 2, 8, 23, 33, 35 and 63).

Levinau filed a legal claim for recognizing the actions of Ms. Gurchanka to be unlawful. However, the official failed twice to appear in the court, because of her busyness.

Pavel Levinau is also a very busy man: for example, only in January members of the election commissions received the prosecutor’s warnings twice (1,2) owing to his complaints. So once again, he suggested using Skype during the hearing. The judge gave his consent. So the hearings were held on Skype.

The court again was held without the deputy head of the city administration. A verdict is expected to be delivered in favor of the official. However, Levinau is satisfied with it.

“This is the beginning of good practice,” the human rights activist explains. “If I can participate using Skype means that officials can do it, as well. Citizens have a chance to at least hear such busy people, such as Gurchanka, in court.”

Additional information
Pavel Levinau
His profile in facebook – https://www.facebook.com/bhc.vitebsk
BHC representative in Vitebsk and the region.

Levinau takes an active part in providing legal assistance to citizens and observing elections. He was an observer of presidential and parliamentary elections in the country between 2001 and 2014. In 2004 Pavel became head of the unregistered initiative group of the parliamentary candidate applicant Valery Shchukin.

Pavel was born on 15 April 1961 in Vitebsk. He graduated from the All-Union Correspondence Polytechnic Institute in Moscow in 1987. He served in various staff positions in the Armed Forces from 1983 till 2001. In 2001, Levinau was dismissed from the Armed Forces for filing a lawsuit in court against the Minister of Defense of the Republic of Belarus.

*Full statutory name of the organization is RHRPA “BHC”. It is also mentioned as BHC and Belarusian Helsinki Committee in this and other texts.

Quoting belhelcom.org
Prepared by Ales LETA
Belarusian Legal Portal

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