Chronicle of Persecution of Freedom Day Rally Participants
Minsk: yesterday Frunzenski court of Minsk sentenced activist of youth movement Alexander Atroshchanka to 5 days of jail. He was detained on March 23. The policemen testified that Alexander was walking on a street, using foul language and gesticulating.
Activist of youth movement Tatsiana Tsishkevich spent two days in Akrestsina jail before trial. Frunzenski court of Minsk fined the girl 230 US dollars. The court found the girl guilty of preparing an unsanctioned rally.
Mahiliou: The trials over civic activists Anton Ustsimchuk and Yauhen Suvorau postponed till April 2. The judge did not hear the case without attorney. The civic activists are to sign a contract with the lawyers until April 2. This is a requirement of the new Administrative Code. Anton Ustsimchuk and Yauhen Suvorau were released in the courtroom. The activists were detained on March 24 and charged with disorderly conduct.
Homel: yesterday night the police detained Uladzimer Katsora. At 6 p.m. Katsora, deputy head of Homel regional UCP came to Savetski police department of Homel on the summons which he had received before March 25. Katsora is charged with hooliganism and failure to come to the police department. He is facing up to 25 days of jail, reports Leanid Sudalenka, head of Homel Law Initiative NGO.
Let us remind the readers, on March 18 a provocation was organized against Uladzimir Katsora. In the evening, when he was on his way home, two strangers attacked him and kept bugging him until he reached his doors. Then the strangers called for police claiming it was Katsora who attacked them. The next day two policemen visited Homel UCP office and brought summons for Katsora to come to Savetski police department. They said Katsora was accused of hooliganism. In his turn, the activist also applied to police telling them about a provocation similar to the ones that happened last year before the election. Last year Katsora was sentenced to short jail terms twice.
Before the Freedom Day celebration the law-enforcing bodies detained Yury Hlushakou near a college where he works as a teacher. A stranger came up to Yury and asked for a lighter, after that he tried to start a fight. The trial over Hlushakou was postponed two times because of the need to continue additional investigation. Hlushakou told BelaPAN: “I am a widower, and raise my under age daughter alone. Probably, that is why they justified me. Besides that, they did not need me anymore – the Freedom Day is already over. In addition I would rally like to think that the trial was really fair”.
HRODNA: In Hrodna chairman of BPF city organization Vadzim Saranchukou and student Andrus Famin were released. Right before the detention Famin was interrogated by KGB in the case of Young Front. Saranchukou served the term of 5 days, and Famin – 7 days in jail. The charges were traditional: using curse language, although with variation – one of them simply used curse language, and the other one used curse language while talking on the phone.
Reporter of Magazyn Polski na uchodzstwie Ihar Bantsar remains behind bars, serving the term of 10 days. The policemen tried to burst into the apartment of Stanislau Pachobut, member of the Union of Poles. However, when his brother Andrei Pachobut, chief editor of Magazyn Polski na uchodzstwie, arrived, the policemen left.
Ihar Bantsar is to be released on March 29.
Barysau: Yesterday Barysau court opened hearings of the case against human rights activist Ihar Lednik. Lednik was detained on March 24. The police claim he had a fight with a passer-by. In court 3 police officers testified that Lednik used curse language. At the same time, judge Sviatlana Samuseva refused to read evidence of Lednik’s 15-year-old son, who was present during the detention. The verdict is to be announced today.
SALIHORSK: Activists Dzianis Karnou and Uladzimer Shyla are to be tried today. On 25 March the activists were released from the detention center and given summons to appear in court today.
Paval Batuyeu, detained during the rally in Minsk, was brought back home by police. It turned out that the policemen were especially sent from Salihorsk to Minsk to monitor the actions of Salihorsk activists. The policemen mixed with the crowd of the protesters and even wore EU signs. Yesterday evening chief of Salihorsk police U. Zakharchuk had a “preventive” conversation with Paval Batuyeu.
Besides our own information, we used the reports of Radio Racyja and RFE/RL.