Maria Tarasenko, a woman, who has no grounds for exclusion from the database of "those not employed in the national economy", has turned to the Gomel branch of the REP Trade Union. She intends to go to court and prove the illegality of Ordinance No. 3.
Already this January Maria received a call from her house management and learnt that she had been included into the above database. She was invited to the respective district commission to explain her situation. Maria Tarasenko is the owner of her apartment, and she was threatened to receive an increased utility bill. The call has extremely outraged and insulted the woman. Once, she and her husband decided that the family income allowed Maria to quit her job and take care of the household. Why is she now obliged to pay extra fees to the state? Maria treats Ordinance No. 3 and its recent modification as illegal and is ready to defend her rights at all instances, giving the broadest possible resonance to the new "parasite" case.
Leonid Sudalenko, the REP's legal inspector for the Gomel Region, has drafted, on behalf of Maria Tarasenko, an appeal to state bodies:
"We've sent Ms Tarasenko's application to the Gomel City Executive Committee demanding, firstly, to exclude Maria from the so-called 'database of those non-employed in the economy'; and, secondly, raising the issue of non-compliance of Ordinance No. 3 to the Constitution. We expect an answer within 15 days, as prescribed by the law. Then, we'll go to court. Therefore, I don't rule out that soon we'll see a new 'parasite' trial: 'Maria Tarasenko versus administration of the Zheleznodorozhny District'. Unless, of course, the commission, like it was in Bragin with Teremetsky, finds grounds to exclude Maria from the database. The major argument of the REP Trade Union is that every citizen of Belarus is engaged in the economy, since he/she is a consumer of goods and services in the territory of the Republic of Belarus."
Commission got frightened of trial? REP member excluded from "parasite" database
Two years ago, at the trial of "parasite" Semyonov, who tried to sue the tax inspection, the court refused to consider the case, stating that it was outside its jurisdiction. Maybe the court will do the same this time. Leonid Sudalenko is sure that this will be another trump card in the struggle for the rights of "parasites":
"If the court refuses to consider the first 'parasite' case under the updated ordinance, we'll state that there is no court in our country! The authorities have set up commissions not indictable by any court! Belarusians have become powerless: not only in terms of dividing them into 'employed' and 'non-employed', but also in terms of going to court! This will be a denial of justice."
People are deprived of their right to remove the stigma of a "parasite" through the court
Andrei Strizhak, a member of the REP's Council, believes that the new "parasite" case has a judicial perspective:
"From the viewpoint of our state, Maria Tarasenko, is a typical 'parasite'. She owns a two-room apartment, in which she is a housewife for 13 years. Her husband Igor has a regular income, which the family lives on. The family itself decides who does what in the household; however, the authorities dare to decide that one of the spouses is 'non-employed in the national economy'."
"In our lawsuit we'll present confirmations of Maria's engagement in the economy and once again prove the absurdity of the ordinance, which divides people into 'good' and 'bad' categories. Ordinance No. 3 was adopted without accounting for real economy laws and is a speculative concept of Belarusian bureaucrats, who try extorting money from citizens of their country. The very concept of 'citizen non-engaged in the economy' is a complete nonsense. Only a dead person is completely non-engaged therein."
Maria Tarasenko herself intends to go through all the judicial instances and defend her rights:
"I want to highlight this topic to the maximum. So that people understand what they are facing. You can't be silent! You can't hide your head into sand! You can't bury your offense and discontent inside you! It is bad for one's dignity, honour and pride. You shouldn't feel inferior! Now, some people are frantically searching for job; they rush around and try to prove something to someone ... And if it goes on like this? All the time you have to go and prove that you are not guilty! Then, we'll have to prove our right to walk and breathe ... I want people to understand: you can't put up with it, you just can't."