On 24 February the judge of Savietski Borough of Minsk Aksana Reliava found Siarhei Antonchyk guilty of organizing an unsanctioned gathering in a rented privately-owned apartment.
On 24 February the judge of Savietski Borough of Minsk Aksana Reliava found Siarhei Antonchyk guilty of failing to act in accordance with an established order when organizing an unsanctioned gathering in an apartment rented by S. Antonchyk. According to part 2 of Article 167.1 of the Code of Administrative Offences of the Republic of Belarus, S.Antonchyk was already awarded a fine worth 150 basic units. It should be noted that during the court hearing that lasted for four days around ten witnesses were questioned. None of the witnesses questioned in the case confirmed that S. Antonchyk had organized a gathering to discuss issues relating to the civil and political situation in the country. According to the witnesses, they gathered to listen a historian’s report. Also, a privately-owned apartment is not a public, civil location. However, Judge A.Reliava believes because the apartment is a rented one, several citizens gathering there can be referred to as an unsanctioned assembly.
The way Judge A.Reliava interpreted the Law of the Republic of Belarus On Mass Events is quite surprising.
The ruling she passed suggests, for example, that a person wanting to arrange a birthday party and invite their friends to the apartment they rent will have to go to the Minsk City Executive Commission for permission.
What should be noted is that S. Antonchyk has already once been found guilty of organizing unsanctioned gatherings in indoor premises.