Mahilyow authorities ban protest against worsening living standards

The Mahilyow City Executive Committee banned opposition activists from staging a small demonstration in the eastern Belarusian city on January 28 to protest plunging living standards.

The local organization of the "Spravedlivy Mir" (Just World) Belarusian Party of the Left on January 11 applied for permission to stage the demonstration in a remote stadium from 12 p.m. till 1 p.m. on Saturday.

The organizers concluded contracts with police, a hospital and a street cleaning service as required by applicable regulations, but the city authorities dismissed the application.

“They instead organized some sports event amid bone-chilling temperatures,” Valery Beraziyenka, chairman of the party’s Mahilyow regional organization, commented to BelaPAN. “People played football and skied there.”

Some 50 people were involved, he said.

“The city authorities could at least have altered the date, time and venue after a discussion with the applicants, but they never did it,” he said, adding that the organizers would, perhaps, go to court to protest the ban.