Details of the Trial over Brest Activists
On November 15 Maskouski court of Brest heard the administrative charges against Andrei Sharenda, Katsiaryna Belskaya, Yuras Boubel, Anatol Yarmak, and Hanna Bersan. The case was considered by Judge Ruslana A. Sianko. The Human Rights Center “Viasna” found out the details of the trial.
The proceedings were instigated under Art. 167-1 part 1 of the Code of Administrative Infringements (violation of the established order of holding rallies, street marches, etc.). On October 16 the activists held an action dedicated to the Solidarity Day. The police detained several people, some of whom were charged. Senior lieutenant Alexander Tarasevich prepared the case material for the trial. He headed the police group who visited young people and summoned them to police station, drew up the reports and pressed the charges. He also informed the employers of young people and administration of their educational institutions about the accident. The police rushed the proceedings. It took them only 3 days to prepare the case materials to court. Most probably, the police attempted to prevent the similar action on the 16th November by intimidating the “concerned” part of the society.
The trial was to start at of October 15. However, it began one hour later. The police spent that time trying to “free” the court room from the people who came to support the activists. However, the people present wrote complaints addressing the chairperson of the court. He had to permit their presence.
In the beginning of the trial the activists made a petition asking to let human rights defender Uladzimir Vialichkin represent them during the trial. The Judge rejected the petition. When the defendants looked through the case materials they gave their own explanation of what had happened. Only one of the activists claimed they had had an action. The others gave different reasons for their appearance on Masherava Street.
Then the Judge invited the policemen who had detained the young people and seen them in the police station. The names of the police witnesses are: I. Marozau, R. Sych, I. Halaveyka, U. Sauchyn. I. Halaveyka was dressed in civil clothes. He publicly hugged one of the court employees. That outraged her but only made the other policemen smile.
The evidence given by policemen differed. No one could give exact information about an “unauthorized rally” (some of them insisted on that term). Besides that, the judge asked many suggesting questions, and they still were not able to answer them.
Having listened to the defenders, the judge pronounced her verdict. She didn’t need a break to make a decision.
The activists received fines:
Anatol Yarmak – about 450 USD
Hanna Bersan – about 300 USD
Yuras Boubel – about 300 USD
Katsiaryna Belskaya – about 300 USD
Andrei Sharenda – about 750 USD.