2014 08/06

Hrystaphor Zhaliapau (in the photo), the coordinator of the Movement for Freedom in Viciebsk region, sent the head of the executive committee Viktar Nikalaikin a letter.

The letter included request to change the decision of the executive committee No 881 that was made in 2009 when antecedent of Viktar Nikalaikin was the head of the executive committee. The requirements embodied in statement 3 this decision impose limitations on the rights of citizens to express their ideas in public through holding rallies, pickets and meetings.

According to Hrystaphor Zhaliapau, present Head of the executive committee can change the situation: “Since that decision about holding public events no such event upon an initiative of activists wasn’t authorized! The problem is that requirements are unenforceable: according to the decision, the applicant has to provide copies of service agreements with police, medical and public services together with the application. These official institutions and services avoid conducting such agreements and it is impossible to force them to it even through court actions! When we sue against officials, who reject our claims, appealing to court doesn’t help either, as judges refer to that decision of the executive committee and insist that it’s obligatory to follow it, while it is inconsistent with the legislation about public events”.

Addressing Viktar Nikalaikin activist Hrystaphor Zhaliapau mentions that he is acquainted with the head of the executive committee for a long time already and considers him to be not the worst of the officials. However Zhaliapau didn’t receive a positive reply: “I haven’t received a reply from Nikalaikin at all. It seems that my appeal was forwarded and I received a reply signed by his deputy Uladzimier Szloma. And mister Szloma repeated the arguments that activists from Viciebsk heard many times:that claim to change the decision is unreasonable. The decision underwent legal examination, was ratified, which means it was recognized to be complete“.

Activists say that there is no other way as to address the head of the executive committee once again. He writes: “I remember as in 1990th head of city council department, you reacted on problems raised by delegated responsibly. And I remember how many good things we made for people together during that 9 years! That’s why I thought that you would take my letter about the decision of the executive committee on holding mass events seriously. However I received a reply signed by the deputy, from whom I didn’t expected any positive conclusions. I believe that you ware not very attentive when reading my letter and didn’t take the existing problem seriously, that statement 5 of Constitution of the Republic of Belarus has been violating in Viciebsk for 5 years”.

Hrystaphor Zhaliapau waits for an answer from the head of the executive committee again and hopes for the reply in person. Because the problem of impossibility of holding a public event has touched not only Viciebsk and the region, the example of decision of Viciebsk authorities expanded over the whole Belarus.

Activist of committee on creating of social-democratic party Narodnaya Hramada, lawyer Aliaksiej Haurucikau analyzed the decisions of local authorities not only in Vieciebsk region, but in other regions. He found out that similar documents which state the obligation to conduct service agreements in advance are in force in several districts in Homel, Mahiliou and Brest regions.

40 decisions of local authorities state that citizens have to conduct service agreements in advance, before actions not yet authorized. And the content of only 28 decisions is consistent with the legislation and doesn’t demand any additional actions from citizens.

According to spring96.org,
Prepared by Ales LETA
Belarusian Legal Portal

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