Statement of HRC Viasna Concerning Verdict to Zmitser Dashkevich
We, members of Human Rights Center Viasna express our decisive protest against sentencing of Zmitser Dashkevich to 1.5 days of jail and consider his persecution as a violation of human rights.
Zmitser Dashkevich was detained on 15 September 2006 and charged under article 193.1 of the Criminal Code (organization of the activity of unregistered organization or participation in it). For more than a month he has been kept in inhuman conditions in an investigative isolator. The trial started on 30 October in Minsk Kastrychnitski District Court and was a closed one, in the worst traditions of Stalin’s times. Journalists, representatives of civil society and Zmitser’s relatives weren’t admitted to it.
Human Rights Center Viasna states:
‘We consider article 193.1 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Belarus and the practice of its use as a violation of the right of citizens of the Republic of Belarus to freedom of association and freedom of opinion that are guaranteed by the Constitution of the Republic of Belarus and the International Convent on Civil and Political Rights.
We think that the international community and the Belarusian society must give the appropriate evaluation to the actions of the concrete persons who let human rights violations in the country. In private, it concerns the persons who directly participated in persecution of Zmitser Dashkevich: the judge of Minsk Kastrychnitski borough court Ala Bulash, the senior advisor of Minsk Kastrychnitski borough prosecutor’s office H.Barouski who upheld the state accusation during the trial and the vice-Prosecutor General of Belarus Prus who sanctioned the arrest of Zmitser Dashkevich.
We urge representatives of the OSCE, the UN Council on Human Rights and all international human rights organizations to turn attention to systematic human rights violations in Belarus.
We demand immediate discharge of Zmitser Dashkevich and other political prisoners in Belarus and cessation of repressions against the political opponents of A.Lukashenka’s regime.
Minsk, 2 November 2006