Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections

Праваабарончы цэнтр «Вясна» беларускі хельсінкскі камітэт


UCP activist detained for handing out invitations to allowed electoral meetings in Homieĺ

October 2, an activist of the United Civil Party Siarhei Kasabutski was detained near the department store “Homieĺ” while handing out invitations to an electoral meeting.

The meeting is planned by the local opposition activists, who has already received an official permission from the Čyhunačny district election commission of Homieĺ. During the detention the UCP activist argued that he was handing out invitation to an authorized meeting, whereas the police contended that he was handing them out in the Centraĺny district, whereas the event was to be held in the Čyhunačny district. “The presidential elections are taking place in the whole country. These are not the elections of some tzar of the Čyhunačny district. Therefore, the claims the police are absolutely far-fetched," commented the UCP activist Uladzimir Katsora.

Later on, Siarhei Kasabutski was released from the police station without getting any charges.

Homieĺ oppositionists intend to hold the electoral meetings on October 7, at which they will campaign against the presidential candidate Aliaksandr Lukashenka. The regional leader of the UCP, Uladzimir Siakerka, has already received an appropriate permission from the Čyhunačny district election commission of Homieĺ. The appeals for holding the electoral meetings in secondary school No. 57 and the Culture House “Homsieĺmaš” were filed to the Čyhunačny district election commission of Homieĺ by Mr. Siakerka and a UCP activist, coordinator of the campaign “For Fair Elections” Uladzimir Katsora. At the meeting with voters the opposition activists plan to hold a campaign against the incumbent president, to discuss the program of other candidates and the socio-economic situation in the country.

The electoral law does not prohibit holding meetings for the purpose of campaigning, both "for" and "against" candidates. The opposition agreed in advance with the directors of the secondary school and the culture house that no other electoral events would be held there at the specified time.

Earlier, activists of the leftist party "Fair World" appealed to the Homieĺ City Executive Committee to obtain permission for holding pickets with the aim to campaign against the election of Aliaksandr Lukashenka. However, the city authorities refused to issue the permission, thereby banning the events.

"Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections"