2014 07/07

As it was reported earlier, local authorities of Zhodzina suddenly refused to organize the celebration of folk festival Kupalle for the first time, after they organized pompous celebration of the 3rd of July with inviting Saladuha and Piesniary for a concert and great fireworks.

Those citizens who were present at the river bank where municipal event was usually held on the 6th of July made sure and were unpleasantly surprised by rather strange news about the cancellation ( and in fact proscription) of traditional celebration.

On that day people were swimming in the river as usual and nobody bothered them. It should be noted that water of the river opposite the beach, on which a lot of money had been spent, surprised by its impropriety to swim – it was dirty because of algae and it was unpleasant to stay in the water. Even near the buoys there was not a meter
However despite the circumstances created by the executive committee and absolutely unsuitable conditions for proper summer rest some pleasant things happened. Several concerned citizens of Zhodzina made a small holiday for themselves and other people, and reminded Kupalle to the present. This happened despite all the proscriptions – there were flowers, various chaplets, paparat kvietka, happy children, deep girls’ eyes and smiles (at the photos).

Lady Ludmila, who is love with Belarus, its nature and traditions, came to the river in national costume as usual, took her usual place by lifeboat station and started to make chaplets and then gave them out to bypassers and revelers. It completely changed the mood and refreshed the atmosphere, let people smile to one another, talk, exchange ideas and remember immemorial folk tradition.

Some citizens expressed the disappointment and guess that chances are that local authorities decided to save money by not organizing celebration of Kupalle. They said: “It would be better if they didn’t spend money on fireworks, parades of the 3rd of July and Saladuha, but celebrated Kupalle as needed!”

After 9 p.m. when the vast majority of people were getting ready to go home, the police officers came perhaps in order to give notices and clear away in case any attempts of “unauthorized celebration” would take place.

Aliaksiej Lapicki, human rights defender from Zhodzina commented on the cituation:

Present legislation and existing practice provides against any public events for Belarusians without authorization by local authorities. In order to hold any public event (peaceful assembly) it is necessary to make an application in 15 days and receive permission. Moreover, before accepting the application the authorities demand from citizens to conduct service agreements with the police of the town, medical and community services for assistance during the declared event. And this order that is absolutely unenforceable and contradictory to statements 23 and 35 of the Constitution of The Republic of Belarus and international standards of law (statement 2 of ICCPR) is necessary to be fulfilled by any applicant (with any social position and funding ratio) in any case, even if there is no need in any but usual measures from such institutions during the action.

And for violation of this order administrative sanctions in the form of fine or administrative arrest for 15 days are imposed on providers and active participants of any unauthorized action.

As the result citizens who would like to celebrate Kupalle on their own were put at risk of administrative pursuit by sudden cancellation of Kupalle, celebration if which was always centrally organized on the resolution of the executive committee by the city administration.

Alies LETA,
according to licviny.info
Belarusian Legal Portal,
Photos by A.Lapicki

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