Newspaper Articles Are Used as Evidence
According to RFE/RL, on 21 June Ianis Chuchman, chair of Vitsiebsk branch of Young Front, will be judged. On 5 May Young Front members hang out a large banner “Freedom to Political Prisoners!” on the bridge over the river of Dzvina as a sign of solidarity with their Minsk friends.
After this Ianis Chuchman was summoned by the local police inspector Aliaksandr Kavalienka. At first the policeman said he wanted to have a prophylactic talk with the oppositional activist, but when Chuchman came to the police point, he composed a report on him. On the policeman’s table he saw Xerox copy of the independent newspaper “Vitsiebski kuryer” with the photo of the banner. Chuchman’s surname was mentioned in the article.
On 21 June Ianis Chuchman will be judged by Vitsiebsk Piershamaiski Borough Court for organization of the unauthorized action. The mentioned police report has already become a sensation in Vitsiebsk – it’s the first time a representative of oppositional movement is charged with a violation on the basis of a newspaper article. Mr. Chuchman says that as a result of such practice independent newspapers would have either to keep silent about protest actions or write about them bearing in mind that the information can be used by the police.