Alexander Lukashenko today signed amendments to the Code of Administrative Offenses and the Procedural and Executive Code of Administrative Offenses of Belarus. State agency BelTA informs about it.
The new code is positioned as having a “preventive and prophylactic” nature of dealing with offenses. The agency notes that the new codes are aimed at liberalizing administrative responsibility and simplifying the procedure for bringing legal entities and individuals to administrative responsibility. Thus, 110 previously effective norms were excluded from the Code of Administrative Offenses, and 230 sanctions were adjusted.
At the same time, Natalya Kochanova, Chair of the Council of the Republic of the National Assembly of the Republic of Belarus, told Office Life that the new legislation provides for serious fines for the use of any “unidentified symbols”.
“We have established state symbols, and everything else is unidentified. White-red-white flags, of course, will fall – this is an unidentified symbolism. They are not eligible to be posted. It’s not the case that someone began to use it for what, ”Kochanova said.
She also stressed that Minsk “has already been cleaned, and well cleaned” of non-state symbols.
The Telegram channel “Pool of the First”, which, according to local media reports, is close to the president’s press service, reports that for hanging flags, residents of the country will be fined up to 580 Belarusian rubles ($ 225). For legal entities, this amount will be up to 1,740 Belarusian rubles ($ 676).
Office Life notes that Belarusian legislation today distinguishes between the concepts of “state symbols”, “registered symbols” and “prohibited extremist symbols”. The BKB is not mentioned either in the Republican list of extremist materials, or in the decree of the Ministry of Internal Affairs on prohibited symbols. The concept of “unidentified symbols” is not spelled out in the legislation.
However, law enforcement practice shows that Belarusians are fined or taken into custody for using the white-red-white flag. It was the national flag of Belarus from 1991 to 1995 and is widely used by participants in street protests who disagree with the results of the 2020 presidential elections.
The amendments were developed by the presidential administration, BelTA informs.
In preparing them, Lukashenka argued that prohibitions and restrictions should remain only where they are objectively necessary: if there is a risk of harm to the life and health of citizens, emergencies. “You don’t need to cling to people on trifles,” he said at the meeting at the time.
New measures of administrative responsibility will apply from March 1.
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