Siarhey Antonchyk Is Arrested for 15 Days
On 2 October there appeared new court precedent – a man was sentenced to 15 days of jail for an assembly in the office of his organization.
On 2 October in the office of Free trade union there gathered about 30 persons in order to discuss issues at the planned constituent assembly of new public organization.
In half an hour people in plain clothes entered the building and blocked all exits. Despite the fact that Mr. Antonchyk is a member of Free trade union and doesn’t need any authorization to conduct any assemblies at the office of his organization, the police drew on him a report for organization of unauthorized action.
At court the policemen stated that the assembly wasn’t permitted by Minsk City Executive Committee and didn’t pay any attention to the arguments of the advocate Tatsiana Stankevich that one didn’t need any permission for assembly of initiative group.
According to the law, before the constituent assembly of any public organization its initiative group is to gather in order to define the founders and the aims of the association. Everybody expected the judge to stop the case. That’s why the decision to give 15 days of jail to the defendant was shocking.
-- It’s unprecedented case. Never has anyone in Belarus been sentenced for assembly of the organization committee concerning establishment of new organization in with the permission of the owner of the building, -- said Siarhey Antonchyk to RFE/RL.