This spring, practically in all regions of Belarus pickets were applied for against the criminal prosecution of Gennady Fedynich and Igor Komlik, leaders of the REP Trade Union, the "Viasna" Human Rights Centre reports.
All the applications were rejected for various far-fetched reasons; the authorities mostly stated that some other events had been planned in advance on same dates in same places. However, in Minsk, REP activists checked whether other mass events were actually held at those places; they found nobody there.
Vladimir Telepun, a rights defender from the "Viasna" HRC, tried to appeal against the decision of the Mozyr District Executive Committee to ban the picket, aiming thereby to achieve justice in the matter. However, the higher instance – the Gomel Regional Court – upheld twice, by cassation and supervision, the Committee's ban.
Since July 25, 2018, some "amendments" to the Law "On Mass Events" are in force in Belarus. However, according to rights defenders, they fail to solve the existing problems of holding peaceful assemblies, and contribute to the full implementation of citizens' right to take part in them.