22 May 2015, Friday, 19:06

Ban on Pole's Card for army officers and rescuers found “legal”

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It has been declared that the law prohibiting officers of the Emergency Ministry and the army to obtain the Card of the Pole complies with the Constitution.

It can be concluded from a decision of the Constitutional Court that has been published today on the National Legal Portal.

The Constitutional Court thinks the benefits and privileges granted by the card can make army officers and rescuers to a certain extent dependent on foreign states that can provoke a conflict of interests.

As charter97.org reported earlier, the law “On amendments to certain laws of the Republic of Belarus on military service” was adopted. The law prohibits officers of emergency bodies and army officers (except for conscripts) to receive documents from foreign states that give them benefits and privileges for their political or religious views or nationality as well as to use such benefits and privileges unless otherwise is required by international agreements signed by the Republic of Belarus.

Andrzej Poczobut, a journalist for Gazeta Wyborcza (Poland), thinks this and the previous ban (the Card of the Pole was earlier banned for police officers, members of parliament and government officials) demonstrate the intention of the authorities to impose total control.

“The law only legalises what we have de facto. The ban on obtaining the Pole's Card for officials existed before. I know that several people were fired, because they had received it. I think this attitude to the card can be explained with the position of the government 'You are our slaves, but you can receive visas'. The authorities cannot control this process. The main word here is 'control'. They want to control everybody and everything.

The card itself is not dangerous. But it is hard to understand such explanations, if Belarusian security bodies can employ Russian citizens,” he said to charter97.org.

The Sejm of Poland adopted the Law on the Card of the Pole on 7 September 2007. It came into force on March 31, 2008. The card confirms belonging of the ethnic Poles living in the CIS and the Baltic states to the Polish nation, grants them privileges in obtaining Polish visas, guarantees support in business activities, employment and education in Poland.

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