Trials over Brest Region Activists to Continue in October
Trials over pro-democratic activists continue in Brest region. On August 19th Brest police detained participants of the gathering where Paval Seviarynets presented his book Letters from the Woods. A month later the detained activists appear before court. Some of the people are tried in their absence. There is a similar situation in Baranavcihy. Youth activists who on September 10th came to the building of Baranavichy court to support Yaraslau Hryshchenia, are up.
Today Maskouski court of Brest will hear the case against Nasta Mialeshka. Nasta is a reporter of Brestskiy Kuryer newspaper. On August 19th she visited the presentation of Seviarynets’ book Letters from the Woods on the request of her editor. The police detained her together with other participants of the meeting. Altogether the police detained 28 people. Later they drew up reports against 15 of them. Still, it is very likely that the charges against Nasta will be dropped.
Katsiaryna Belskaya is in a much worse situation. The judge sent the police report back for revision. As a result, Katsiaryna faces a short term in jail. The police found out that that would be Katsiaryna’s second administrative infringement in 12 months. As a result, now they charge her with a repeated offence. She will be tried on September 26th.
Earlier the courts heard the cases against Yurka Bakur, Liubou Pranevich, Siarhei Lazenka, Yauhen Bialiasin, Vechaslau Kruhlou, and Vasil Laureniuk. Yurka Bakur believes such detentions are an element of the new tactics of the authorities:
“Such detentions were registered not only in Brest. We saw similar cases in Homel, and in Minsk with its Free Theater, and now it continues. I think this is stupid and does only harm to the authorities. It makes the youth activists and the opposition forces as a whole only more popular”.
In Baranavichy the court hears cases against members of the unregistered organization Young Front who came on September 10th to the court building to show support to their colleague Yaraslau Hryshchenia. The court gives fines to people in their absence. Zmitser Khvedaruk was fined 22 basic units. Tatsiana Bulanava was at first charged with disorderly conduct. The police wrote in the report that she whistled with a whistle. The court fined her 2 basic units. However, now the police drew another report about her. This time she was accused of participation in an unauthorized action.
Tatsiana Bulanava says: “When I asked them to show me the report, they refused saying I would see nothing new there. Everything had already been written. So I don’t see the point of traveling from Mahiliou to Baranavichy to observe them lying. Probably, our fines will make up the bonuses of the policemen who grab us”.
The only person who received an arrest term as a penalty is Paval Seviarynets. He was sentenced to 15 days of jail in Brest, and to 17 days of jail in Baranavichy. Paval Seviarynets will be released on Sept 27th.