Opposition Activist Threatened with Criminal Prosecution

2006 2006-10-25T10:00:00+0300 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

In the run-up to the local election Kletsk authorities decided to put the plug on local pro-democratic activist Siarhei Panamarou. During 7 months Siarhei Panamarou printed Boiki Kletsk newsletter out of his own pocket, where he informed people about political, economic, and social news in the country, which were not covered by the official mass media.

UCP press service reports, Panamarou gave the title to his newsletter after head of Kletsk municipality Anatol Boika. According to the opposition member, chair of Kletsk administration behaves as if he is the only boss in town and creates lots of problems for the town residents. In his newsletter Panamarou raised such issues as unsatisfactory work of utility services and local officials.

Siarhei Panamarou and his wife Sviatlana, who is a lawyer, offered legal assistance to the town residents: consultations on legal issues, writing plaint notes, etc. On the run-up to the local election the town authorities began to put psychological pressure on the activists.

Boiki Kletsk published two articles where he covered his own story: the court fined him 9 million rubles (around 4.5 thousand dollars) for using the workshops, which he had bought but later was deprived of by the decision of the local authorities. After the article was published he was invited to the police station where they threatened him with criminal charges with slander (Article 188.2). Moreover: Panamarou was on a business trip for several days. During that time his wife received several phone calls with “friendly” advice to leave town until the end of the local election -- January 14.