Vawkavysk District Court Fines Andrey Shantarovich
Vawkavysk District Court fined the chief editor of Mestnaya Gazeta newspaper 50 basic values (1 200 000 Belarusian rubles). Judge Yury Yakimovich considered the hunger-strike of the defendant as unauthorized picket.
The head of Vawkavysk District Board of Internal Affairs Aliaksandr Hlebaw who on 17 November had composed the protocol of violation of part 1 of article 167 of the Code of Administrative Violations. At the trial he defended his position by the fact that posters with information about the hunger-strike were hanged all over the town and even in the window of the editorial office of Mestnaya Gazeta. To his mind, it gave publicity to the fact of the hunger-strike and turned it into unauthorized picket.
The advocate of the journalist Aliaksandr Birylaw said that the police presented to court no evidence of the guilt of A. Shantarovich and asked to close the case. The chief editor of Mestnaya Gazeta stated that as a citizen of Belarus he had the right to go on hunger-strike whenever he wanted and inform the public about it.
We should remind that on 20 October Andrey Shantarovich went on the hunger-strike of protest against the decision of the Ministry of Information to suspend the issue of his newspaper and kept hungering for 21 day in the building of the office of correspondent of Mestnaya Gazeta in Vawkavysk.