Ban of Slavic Pride 2010 in Minsk

12/05/2010

ILGA-Europe condemns the decision of the Minsk city authorities to ban the Slavic Pride March scheduled to take place on 15 May.

On 8 May, the organisers of the Slavic Pride in Minsk received a letter from Mr Mikhail Titenkov, deputy head of Minsk City Executive Committee, refusing permission for the Slavic Pride march to take place. The letter refers to Article 9 of the Law of Belarus Republic on the staging of public events and says that “public events are not allowed at the distance of less than 200 metres from underground pedestrian crossings and metro stations”.

Freedom of assembly is a human right which is guaranteed by all major international human rights instruments including: Article 21 of the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights. This right is also protected in Belarus Constitution, its Article 35 states: “The freedom to hold assemblies, rallies, street marches, demonstrations, and pickets that do not disturb law and order or violate the rights of other citizens of the Republic of Belarus, shall be guaranteed by the State.

Belarus is engaged in the Eastern Partnership with the European Union which aims to enhance the relationship between the EU and Belarus and is founded on mutual interests and commitments as well as on shared ownership and responsibility. Under the terms of the Eastern Partnership, Belarus accepted commitments to promote democracy, respect for human rights and the development of civil society.

ILGA-Europe calls on the Minsk city authorities to reconsider their decision and to permit the Slavic Pride March to go ahead as planned and to ensure that its participants are fully protected.

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