Chernobyl March organizers: paying to police is unconstitutional
The Chernobyl March had to be cancelled for the first time in 30 years after the police charge too much for security.
The traditional rally Chernobyl Marchwill not be held on April 26, the organizers announced on April 25. Civil activists have refused to pay more than $2500 for the police services. The organizers were ready to keep the order at the action on their own and informed the authorities about it. However, the Interior Ministry would make them pay in any case since this provisio is set out in a law.
The rally itinerary was supposed to be the Academy of Sciences – Surhanau Street – Park of Peoples’ Friendship.
“The event appointed for April 26 has been cancelled,” co-leader of the Belarusian Christian Democracy Volha Kavalkova told Euroradio. "We are refusing to pay for the police services. I have visited Minsk City Department of the Interior today [on April 25 – Euroradio] and they have explained to me that we cannot be exempt from the charge. We were supposed to pay BYN 5737. This is not about money. This is our stance. We are refusing to pay for the police services at mass actions because it violates our constitutional right for the freedom of assembly.”
There are no more applicants for the authorized action, Kavalkova added. If people still gather, the rally will be unauthorized.
Chernobyl March is a traditional action dated for the anniversary of the 1986 Chernobyl nucelar disaster. The first manifestation was held in Minsk in 1989.