Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections

Праваабарончы цэнтр «Вясна» беларускі хельсінкскі камітэт


Pickets “For Participation in Fair Elections” banned in Viciebsk

Viciebsk City Executive Committee
Viciebsk City Executive Committee

Viciebsk authorities prohibited the activists of the Conservative-Christian Party “Belarusian Popular Front” to hold a picket under the slogan “For Participation in Fair Elections” on August 9 and ignored their proposal to join the pickets.

At these pickets the five organizers intended to “remind citizens of Viciebsk about their duty to take part in fair elections that correspond to the international standards and undertakings of the Republic of Belarus and at which the authorities observe the fundamental rights and liberties of Belarusian citizens”, together with the authorities provided they would agree to join the action.

According to the legislation, if the local officials agreed to take part in the pickets this would have saved the organizers from the burden of entering into service agreements with the police, public utilities and medics, due to the absence of which mass events are banned in Viciebsk all the time. The service agreements are required by the notorious resolution No. 881 of Viciebsk City Executive Committee.

This very reason was also used to ban the pickets this time. In their replies to the appeals of the CCP BPF activists the deputy heads of Pieršamajski and Čyhunačny district executive committees of Viciebsk Volha Hurchanka and Natallia Liapioshkina banned the pickets due to the absence of the aforementioned service contracts, though the oppositionists tried to enter into them, for which they appealed to the appropriate agencies simultaneously with their appeals to the Pieršamajski and Čyhunačny DECs.

“The authorities didn't answer a word to our proposal to join the pickets. What concerns the service agreements, it proved to be impossible to enter into them: only “Zelianhas” agreed to enter into an agreement, whereas the police and the medics seem to have ignored our appeals – we still haven't received any answers from them,” commented one of the organizers, Yan Dziarzhautsau.

Viciebsk Viasna