The Belarusian Helsinki Committee (BHC) expects the General Prosecutor’s Office to appraise the legitimacy of Belarusian oppositionists’ blacklisting. «We hope that we will receive an accurate response indicating particular laws and Constitution [articles – Belsat] which are in operation now. The General Prosecutor’s Office officials should realize that all of the citizens are equal under the law and it is only the law that they ought to answer in,» BHC lawyer Harry Pahaniayla said.
«All of us are aware of our state’s general practice of taking such decisions on political grounds, not according to the letter of the law. It is quite clear that someone has established a list infringing rule of law,» the expert said.
In March, 2012 opposition politicians Valery Ukhnaliou, Anatol Liabedzka, Aliaksandr Dabravolski, Siarhei Kalyakin, Viktar Karnyayenka, human rights defenders Valyantsin Stefanovich, Aleh Hulak, Harry Pahaniayla, Andrey Bandarenka, journalists Mikhas Yanchuk, Zhanna Litvina, Andrey Dynko were prohibited from travelling abroad. No explanations were given by Belarusian border officers; they merely referred the blacklisted to the Department of citizenship and migration.
The Belarusian president admitted that the list of people banned from leaving the Republic of Belarus does exist. Being interviewed by TV Channel Russia Today Aliaksandr Lukashenka said: «We have established [this list – Belsat]. But it has not still brought into action. We have not put it in full force. But we will.» He accused oppositionists of urging Europe to impose economic sanctions on Belarusian officials, businessmen and enterprises: «It is them who toss up names, organizations, enterprises to the West and insist on introducing economic sanctions. It is them.»
Harry Pahaniayla notes that in fact departure restrictions may be introduced towards the citizens of Belarus. However, this procedure is possible only in specific cases. «Different interpretation and even falsification of these cases, distortion of real events, basing incorrect data are crimes. If we find out that these actions were performed intentionally officials having responsibility for it will have to answer in law,» the lawyer points out.