News for 25 May 2009

25.05.2009 Uladzimir Labkovich: ‘As it turns out, since I use Belarusian, it is my personal problem how to take part in a trial’

The famous Belarusian human rights activist and lawyer Uladzimir Labkovich has lodged a complaint with the Ministry of Justice against a judge of Hrodna Regional Court who refused to carry on a court hearing on 21 May in Belarusian. She also refused to provide an interpreter, saying it is the court who decides which language to use. The human rights expert hopes that under the circumstances the verdict of Hrodna Regional Court would be reversed and reconsidered. ‘It is a flagrant and sad fact, for if I were, say, a Vietnamese, they would have surely provided interpreting. As it turns out, since I use Belarusian, it is my personal problem how to take part in a trial,’ says Mr.Labkovich.

25.05.2009 Participants of anti-nuclear rally stand trial in Lida

Today, on 25 May Lida Town Court fined a Young Front activist Hanna Bunko BYR 70,000 for participating in the 25 April anti-nuclear action, issuing a warning to another participant of the rally and a European Belarus member Yauhen Rudy. Another activist Yauhen Skrabets had been sentenced to 1 day of imprisonment a few days earlier. According to Ms.Bunko, two policemen testified against the teenagers. ‘He said I was too young so they will just warn me this time,’ said Yahen Rudy. The activists were arrested on 25 April in the town of Lida, as they were holding a banner ‘No to the New Chernobyl!’ and distributing leaflets with information on the danger of the construction of the new nuclear power plant in Belarus.

25.05.2009 Policemen confess they beaten up participants of peaceful opposition rally

On May 21 a court trial over young activists detained during the peaceful rally dedicated to the anniversary of Chernobyl nuclear power station accident started in Vitsebsk.

Judge Valyantsina Kismeroshkina started the trial according to police records drawn up on April 26 against an activist of “European Belarus” campaign Kanstantsin Ivanou and an activist of “For Freedom” movement Alyaksei Pilevich. The young people are charged with alleged insubordination to police. Ivanou and Pilevich face a fine from 20 to 50 basic units (from 700 to 1 mln 750,000 Br), europeanbelarus.org informs.

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