Aliaksandr Dzenisenka Fined 1,5 Million Rubles for Trafficking ‘Harmful Books’
On 17 December 2006 a Brest resident Aliaksandr Dzenisenka returned from a conference of the Union of Left Forces that took place in Chernihiv (Ukraine). At Novaia Huta border transition point he chose a simplified form of declaration of goods and went by the green corridor. A border guard saw several copies of About Cult of Lukashenka’s Personality book on a back seat of the car. All in all 17 copies of the book were found and confiscated.
On 8 February 2007 Homel Tsentralny borough court considered that ‘the information of these printed editions can inflict hard to the political interests and the state security of the Republic of Belarus and therefore is liable to obligatory declaring in conformity with the legal order’ and ruled to fine Mr. Dzenisenka 1 550 000 Belarusian rubles (about 750 US dollars). Mr. Dzenisenka disagreed and stated that he had put everything in the customs declaration. Then he appealed the verdict to Homel regional court.
Uladzimir Vialichkin, a human rights activist from Brest, thinks this punishment is lawless and contradicts to part 1 of article 34 of the Constitution of Belarus, which guarantees the right to receive, store and distribute complete, detailed and timely information about the activity of state organs and public associations, political, economical, cultural and international life and the situation of environment.