Homel: Youth Activist Declares Dry Hunger-strike
At 2 p.m. on 29 August Chyhunachny district court of Homel sentenced a member of the organizing committee of the Belarusian Christian Democracy Party Kanstantsin Zhukouski to 5 days of jail and 930 000 (about 430 US dollars) rubles fine.
The matter is that on 9 August the activist tried to put down his remarks into the book of complaints of Chyhunachny district police department of Homel. Zhukouski came there on finding about the detention of his younger colleague Andrei Tsianiuta and stated his wish to represent the detainee’s interests. The policemen rejected this demand. Then Kanstantsin asked them to give to him the book of complaints. At first the policemen did not want to do it.
Then they brought the book, but gave no pen. They just grinned and said that the presidential decree obliged them to give the book, but said nothing about giving pens. The discussion almost turned into an argument. Police major Uladzimir Fedarenka considered some of Zhukouski’s remarks insulting and composed an appropriate report. However, the activist found about it only on Friday, 24 August, when he received a summons to court.
At the trial Kanstantsin Zhukouski refused having called the police ‘fools and morons’, as it was stated in Fedarenka’s report. The activist also said that he did not trust to Belarusian court, but only to the Supreme, God’s trial.
The judge Illia Svirydau ruled to fine Zhukouski 930 000 rubles for insulting officials on duty and imprison him for five days for disrespect to court. According to the judge, the disrespect to court manifested in the fact that the defendant did not switch off his mobile at the trial and it rang several times and that he also ‘used sharp expressions’ towards the police at the court sitting.
In response to the court ruling the activist went on dry hunger-strike. ‘I did not use four-letter words and did not insult anyone. The judge accused me in having not switched off the phone. It was broken, that’s why I could not do it. Finally I took it out of the court hall and passed it to my friends. The policeman who accused me in insult, did not behave well enough during the court sitting, but the judge applied no sanctions to him,’ Zhukouski stated.