Hunger-striker from Polish Minority Sentenced to 10 Days of Jail
On 2 August in Shchuchyn detained Andzhei Pisalnik, press-secretary of the Union of Poles in Belarus for alleged participation in an unauthorized action in Shchuchyn on 3 July (violation of Article #167.1 of the Code of Administrative Violations) and took him to the investigative isolator of Shchuchyn. Andzhei Pisalnik went on hunger-strike to protest against the lawless detention.
On 3 July Pisalnik was taken to Lida District Court for trial. He solicited for advocatory services. The judge satisfied the petition and agreed to let him go till the next sitting, but the police brought Pisalnik back to the isolator. In the evening of 3 July he was visited by the defence lawyer Aliaksandr Birylau. He had to go to Shchuchyn to sign the contract with his client.
After the meeting Mr. Birylau said:
-- Andzhei Pisalnik is of the opinion he is detained illegally. I support this opinion. He asked for a meeting with the procurator who is responsible for law and order in places of detention. He has already filed a complaint to Shchuchyn Town Procurator’s Office.
On 4 August Valiantsin Sheuchyk, judge of Lida District Court, sentenced Andzhei Pisalnik to 10 days of jail for alleged violation of Article #167.1 and 166 resistance to the police).
Before the beginning of the trial the judge prohibited the journalists to make photos. He even expelled for it Mr. Kavalieuski, journalist of Gazeta Wyborcza (later he was let in the court again). At the entrance of the court hall the police put down the surnames of all who came to the trial, paying especial attention to journalists of foreign media. The camera crew of the Polish TV also wanted to get to the trial, but unknown persons broached the front tires of the car. Nevertheless, the journalist Agnieszka Romanowska managed to get to the court by another car.
Aliaksandr Birylau was very convincing when proving the innocence of the defendant. He also presented to the court the documents confirming he had ill daughter who would have to stay alone and in the case of imprisonment (Pisalnik’s wife was abroad). Despite of it, judge Sheuchyk sentenced the journalists to 10 days of jail, which he will spend in Lida.
Now the majority of activists of the Union of Poles in Belarus who support the new chair, Anzhalika Borys, are behind bolt and bar. Among them there are: Tadevush Havin, Mechyslau Iaskievich, Vieslau Kieuliak, Andrei Pachobut and Iuzef Pazhetski.