2009 16/04

hitler_stalinOn 30 October 2007, Siarhei Beliazeka took part in a civil funeral procession outside Vitsebsk. The action was devoted to the victims of Stalin’s repressions in the 1930s-1950s and attended by over 30 members of their families.
The memorial action was to take place at the execution and burial spots of the repressed people, in the villages of Paliai, Varony and Koptsi, Vitsebsk district. The activists were going to install a cross and lay flowers on the place of mass executions. However, they were approached by representatives of the police, with Deputy Chair of Vitsebsk District Police Department Major Lilenka at its head, who named the funeral procession an unauthorized picket and suggested stopping it.
Despite the threats, Siarhei Beliazeka, together with his fellow activists, went on with the funeral rites. When the action was over and its participants came back to the bus, Major Lilenka said they all were detained as participants of an unauthorized picket. The activists protested against the arrest, but had to obey the order.
They were taken to Vitsebsk District Police Department, where Siarhei Beliazeka was charged with participating in an unauthorized mass action.
Thus, the police stopped a civil funeral procession, which was not a political action and, therefore, its participants did not have to apply for a permit. Moreover, funeral rites are a natural activity and are not regulated by the law.
The civil funeral rites attended by Mr.Beliazeka was a peaceful assembly and could not undermine national security, public order, morals or health of citizens. Nor did it restrict the freedoms of other people. None of the action participants was charged with material or moral damage.
Having exhausted all domestic remedies, Siarhei Beliazeka has drawn up a complaint and submitted it to the UN Human Rights Committee. The complaint was considered admissible and registered as Case #1772.

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