Vitsebsk: Prosecutor’s Office Legalizes Election Law Violation
On 1 March the Belarusian Association of Journalists received an answer from Vitsebsk Pershamaiski borough prosecutor’s office concerning violation of the rights of a journalist Valery Shchukin during an election to local deputy soviets that was held in January 2007.
In its answer, signed by prosecutor Iahorau, the prosecutor’s office informed the NGO that no violations were found in the actions of Nina Shubina, chair of polling station #52 of Vitsebsk. We should remind that on 12 January, during the early voting, Nina Shubina prohibited V.Shchukin to stay at the polling station. She said that the election commission ruled to limit his stay there to 1 hour. In its letter to Vitsebsk regional prosecutor’s office BAJ pointed that such limitations are not provided by the election legislation and the polling station commission and its chairperson violated the rights of journalist that are guaranteed by the law On press and the Election Code.
According to the official answer, the application of the BAJ was considered together with the study of a police check-up concerning V.Shchukin’s complaint (in which he demanded a criminal case be brought against N.Shubina, referring to article 198 of the Criminal Code).
‘As a result of the study of these materials there were found no law violations in the process of the decision taking… The refusal to bring a criminal case, issued on 10 February 2006 by a senior police inspector of Vitsebsk Pershamaiski borough police department A.Bashura is legal and grounded and there are no reasons for its abolishment.’
Now the BAJ intends to appeal this answer to Vitsebsk regional prosecutor’s office.