Belarusian Interior Minister promises ‘ruthless’ liberalization of legislation

The Minister of Internal Affairs, Ihar Shunevich, has presented a new draft of the law on mass events, TUT.BY reports. According to the updated law, there will be no need to ask for permission from the authorities to hold rallies in designated areas.

“We will have a ruthless liberalization of the law. We are introducing the declarative principle, which is the worldwide standard. A person can claim to hold a mass event in the designated place of their desire and the decision of the authorities is not required. If the event is scheduled outside of the specified locations, the approval of the authorities is necessary,” said Shunevich.

He added that it is impossible to completely abandon the approval principle.

The changes also envisage that it will be impossible to publicly call for the organizing and holding of mass events before obtaining a permit for it. That is, it will be illegal to announce the date, place and time of the event, to produce and distribute the relevant leaflets, posters and other materials in the media, the Internet and other information networks.

It is assumed that the head of the local executive committee or his deputy, when considering an application, may, in agreement with the organizer, change not only the date, time and place of the event, but also its format.

Journalists will also will be obliged to have IDs on them: a passport and a press card. In addition, it will be necessary to wear a badge in a visible place, wear a vest marked “PRESS” or use an armband.

The proposed changes also apply to Article 23.34 of the Administrative Code (violation of the order of organizing or holding mass events).

Public calls for the organization or holding of the event can result for the organizer, if they are a legal person, in a fine of 20 to 100 basic units (from 460 to 2,300 rubles). If you do it again within a year, you can get a fine of 20 to 200 basic units (from 460 to 4,600 rubles).

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