Belarusian authorities banned holding Europe’s Day
Minsk city executive committee denied a permission to hold pickets for collection of signatures in favour of Belarus’ joining the European Union. The officials explained their denial by a non-existent legal norm.
On April 14, 2009 activists of the civil campaign "European Belarus"Dzmitser Barodka and Maxim Syarheeu filed applications for holding a picket in Minsk park of People’s Friendship. In an answer signed by the deputy chairman of Minsk city executive committee M. Tsistyankou is was said that Minsk city executive committee hasn’t sanctioned holding a picket, as it is out of keeping with parts 5 and 6 of the Article 5 of the Law "On mass events in Belarus".
As noted by the website of "European Belarus", by their denial officials of Minsk city executive committee has demonstrated not only a disrespect to the Constitution and rights of a citizen, but legal ignorance. The 5th part of the Article 5 of the Law "On mass events" to which Tsitsyankou referred to, hasn’t been published yet and hasn’t come has entered into legal force.
"By picketing and collection of signatures we planned to celebrate Europe’s Day – on May 1 the European Union expanded due to admission of 10 new countries. Our preparation to filing an application was thorough; we prepared it with the help of lawyers. But that’s not the most important thing. The denial to our request sows that the hysterics in state-run media conceding the so-called linearization and rapprochement with Europe is nothing but a farce. The regime needs no movement to Europe. Freedom of associations, freedom of speech, freedom of meetings is violated as before. We have political prisoners. However, despite of all prohibitions the campaign is continued. Dozens of thousands of signatures for joining the European Union have been already collected," the activist of "European Belarus"Dzmitry Barodka comments the denial.