Mahiliou: Disabled Person Detained for Having Unregistered Mass Media
On 23 July a report under article 22.9 of the Administrative Code (distribution of unregistered printed production) was composed against Siarhei Hirkin, disabled since childhood. He can be fined up to 290 US dollars.
Siarhei Hirkin was detained on Friday, 20 July, when Mahiliou was visited by participants of the car rally devoted to Zmitser Dashkevich. The policemen confiscated from him 6 copies of Vesnik campanii u abarony svabody veravyznannia (Courier of the campaign in defense of freedom of conscience) which contained no imprint.
HRC Viasna learned that human rights activist Barys Bukhel intended to represent Hirkin’s interests at the police, but the senior lieutenant Pakhomenka prohibited it. Pakhomenka stated that for him the Administrative Code was higher than the Constitution which gave such rights to citizens.
Now Mr. Hirkin is getting ready for the upcoming trial, the date of which is still not known. He is charged with distribution of unregistered mass media, which he had not done. That’s why the police are still looking for any witness who could confirm their version.