2014 25/03

In Zhodino obstacles were made to independent observation. On the day of polling at EC №20 we had to deal with so-called observers from “Belaya Rus” and BRSM who, as it has turned out, were there only to actively influence the independent observation.

These persons, not showing any interest to nuances of election procedures, instead of fixing the number of voters, comparing the facts and figures, were literally programmed to discourage the independent observer Aliaksei Lapitski to perform his duties – refer to the head of commission, to clarify the necessary information, including the need to fix facts with the help of photo and audio recording media, to make copies of the final protocols after the counting of votes in the polling station…

It was clear that these persons were far from knowing the election right, they were purposefully istructed by the leadership of Zhodzina CEC, repeated memorized phrases that the observer “in accordance with Art. 13 of the Constitution” had no right to use the camera or recorder, as he “has not been registered at the commission as a journalist”.

Having similar directions, the Chairman of the EC, on the election day immediately warned A.Lapitski that in the case of photographing or audio recording he would be forced to leave the polling station. At the same time someone called to the militia officers. Immediately, as from the ground, the chief of militia department Siarhey Syavets appeared at the station. Obviously, the plan of the removing the observer before the counting of votes was considered here as quite probable.

However, this plan failed. The human rights activist managed to defend his right, at least to keep his audio recorder during the observation. To do this, Aliaksei Lapitski had a talk on the phone with the secretary of CEC Tatsiana Krautsevich. On the example of more recent attempts of Zhodzina Executive Committee to warn the defender in front of the audience, the human roght defender persuaded the secretary that the recorder was not just a means of collecting, recording and verifying information, as the so-called electronic notebook, but was also a means of private information security, which gave the opportunity to report, if necessary, information to the court to protect his rights in the case of any provocation.

Thus, after obtaining permission from the CEC, the Chairman of the EC №20 sounded to the commission and then to militia officers her permission to use the recorder, and literally 15 minutes before the start of votes counting, the conflict was solved.

Such examples indicate that the authorities do not stop their own vicious practice of selection and use in their improper purposes those officials and members of pro-government ideological organizational structures who know the law, constitutional rights and freedoms poorly, who act according to direct instructions, not understanding what they were breaking the law, ready at every step to restrict the rights and freedoms of other citizens to uphold the right to free and transparent elections, guaranteed by the Constitution and the Electoral Code of the Republic of Belarus.

Ales LETA
Photo: A.Lapitski

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