Vitsebsk: Human Rights Activist Valery Shchukin Sentenced to 7 Days of Arrest for ‘Swearing’ and Jeans
According to RFE/RL
On 17 March the judge of Vitsebsk Pershamaiski Borough Court Volha Iliushonak ruled to punish the well-known human rights activist and journalist of the non-state newspaper Narodnaia volia Valery Shchukin with 7 days of jail, grounding on testimonies of two state officials.
Ms Shubina, chair of the polling station election commission #52, stated that Valery Shchukin, who was registered there as an observer, insulted members of the election commission, swearing at them. Ms Hulidava, representative o the Center of aesthetical development Maladzik, in which the polling station is situated, also composed a statement and stated that Mr Shchukin looked shaggy and thereby violated the aesthetical feelings of the visitors.
Valery Shchukin rejected these accusations. In addition, there were no other witnesses who could confirm that he swore. Ms Hulidava, who composed the ‘aesthetical’ application, was especially indignant at Shchukin’s jeans and insisted that they didn’t correspond to the ‘aesthetical demands of the important political moment’.
Despite the defense efforts taken by the defenders Pavel Levinau and Mikhail Zamalin, the judge sentenced Mr Shchukin (who is quite old). In the accusative verdict she mentioned both swearing and jeans. So, people, never walk in jeans in Belarus!