News / 11.04.19

To reveal "parasites", officials telephone their friends. It is legal?

On March 14, Alexei, a resident of Polotsk, received a telephone call from an unknown number. A man introduced himself as chairman of one of the village councils of the Vitebsk Region and asked where Alexei's girlfriend lives and what she does. But the conversation failed.

"Where is she and where does she work?" asked the chairman.

"Why do you ask me about it?" Alexei asked in his turn.

"There are lists of those who do not work ..."

"I will tell you about these lists!" Alexei was outraged. "Remove her from the list; and it's desirable to send us compensation of some five thousand roubles. We'll sue the Republic of Belarus for violating people's rights and for the genocide of the Belarus population! Any more questions? Do you hear me? This is your job, and you do it!"

Alexei believes that information about his girlfriend was collected by one of the members of the so-called "employment promotion commission", which is looking for people "not involved in national economy". Besides, as he added, his girlfriend is officially working.

"A member of some commission telephoned me," Alexei told the Euroradio. "He called, received confirmation that he was speaking with me, and asked about my girlfriend, whether she works or not. Firstly, how does the man know my phone number? Secondly, does he have the right to gather such information? In our country, the notions of 'privacy' and 'personal data' are completely blurred up!"

Human rights defender: "This is a clear excess of power"

Andrei Strizhak, a rights defender and a member of the Board of the REP Trade Union, said that it was illegal for officials to demand answers to such questions. A person has the right to refuse to answer.

"Any person can answer such a telephone call as he pleases," Andrei has explained. "Or not to answer at all. We don't see the calling person, so you can say: 'Vasya, stop kidding!' and hang up. If you don't want to give any information, then you can not do it by phone. It's another thing if a person is invited to the relevant body by an official summon. This is another pair of shoes."

The human rights defender adds that such official's actions are a clear excess of power.


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