Tried for Demanding Complaint Book
Centralny Court of Minsk began the trial over youth activist Tatsiana Tsishkevich. The girl got into trouble when she asked for the book of complaints and suggestions in the district police department. The police detained her and sent the case to court.
The trial over Tatsiana Tsishkevich which was started today in Minsk Centralny court, is not only to find out if the girl is guilty of disobedience to police, but also to clarify if a citizen can really enjoy the right to complain about the actions of police officers.
On September 7th, Tatsiana Tsishkevich came to Centralny police department to wait for release of Dzianis Helakhau and his friends. According to her, police officer Miatselski threw her out of the office. The girl demanded the book of complaints and suggestions. After that, Tatsiana testified in court, she had been detained for “disobedience to the orders of the police”. The girl is facing a big fine.
Dzianis Helakhau testified that police officers were rude with Tatsiana Tsishkevich. He claimed the police officers had made a serious of other violations.
“They didn’t explain her rights to her and the reason of the detention. The police officers refused to introduce themselves. They knew she was going to write a complaint about them”.
Police officer of Centralny police department Mikalai Liakhimovich testified that he had heard how Tatsiana argued with his colleagues. However he said he didn’t know the exact reason of her detention. The activist believes such a statement proves her innocence.
According to the law, every police department has a book of complaints and suggestions, which is to be given to citizens on their request. At the same time, every policeman has the right to detain a citizen any time.
According to human rights defender Iryna Toustsik, recently police treats activists in a bad manner, and ignores their complaints.
“Earlier the book of complaints and suggestions was kept in a place where it could be seen. We even left notes in it, however I don’t see it now. Probably, they are hiding it”.
Judge Tatsiana Pauliuchuk will continue to hear the case of Tatsiana Tsishkevich on September 21st.