Court Disallowed Claim of Protestant Pastor Yaraslau Lukasik

2007 2007-06-27T13:32:00+0300 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

On June 26th, Centralny court of Minsk heard the claim of Polish national Yaraslau Lukasik. The protestant pastor demanded to recognize the decision of the head of Centralny police department illegal. The police fined and deported Lukasik from Belarus for leading an unauthorized divine service.

Yaraslau Lukasik’s lawyer was not allowed to participate in the hearing. Judge Tatsiana Pauliuchuk claimed the presented power of attorney allowed the lawyer to participate only in civil cases.

Despite the fact that about 20 people, including the Polish consul, came to the hearing, the judge failed to tell them about the beginning of the hearing. In fact, the case was heard without any representatives from Yaraslau Lukasik. They missed the time when the judge considered the issue of Lukasik’s deportation. Four people managed to get to the very end of the hearing, and listened to the last of the three police witnesses about the fact of holding an unauthorized service.

The pastor’s wife Natallia Lukasik points out, the policeman was inconsistent in his testimony. That is why it cannot serve as a proof of her husband’s guilt. In the end of the court hearing the judge said, the materials of the administrative case include the audio-recording of the pastor’s sermon, provided by the special services, and some materials from the Internet that allegedly were the evidence of the law infringement committed by the Protestant pastor.

As a result, Judge Tatsiana Pauliuchuk disallowed the claim of Yaraslau Lukasik and recognized that his deportation was legal.

The wife of the Protestant pastor, Belarusian national Natallia Lukasik believes that the hearing was biased, preconceived, and incompetent. Besides that, the family had not been informed about the date and the time of the hearing. She found it out accidentally, having made a telephone coall to the court one day before the hearing. “Obviously, we do not agree with the decision of the Centralny court and will appeal against it in Minsk city court. We will seek justice. But the children are asking me to join their daddy as soon as possible. That is why, it is very possible that soon we will have to leave Belarus. It will be even more difficult to fight for our rights”, -- Natallia Lukasik pointed out.