Viktar Ivashkevich Sentenced to 15 Days of Jail

2007 2007-12-12T19:14:22+0200 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

Viktar Ivashkevich, deputy head of the Belarusian Popular Front, was sentenced to 15 days of arrest by Tsentralny district court of Minsk.

The politician was detained on 10 December in Chyrvonaya Street, 2 kilometers away from Kastrychnitskaya Square, where a meeting of entrepreneurs was taking place. As there were no reasons for detaining him, the politician was accused of ‘dirty swearing’.

According to a human rights defender Uladzimir Labkovich, the officers of riot police confounded in evidence on the trial and contradicted to each other. No passers-by came to the trial as witnesses, though, according to the report, Ivashkevich disturbed people by ‘swinging his arms and using obscene language’. In spite of absence of evidence of Ivashkevich’s guilt, judge Aliaksei Bychko sentenced the politician to 15 days of arrest.

‘The trial over Ivashkevich has nothing to do with the law. The law isn’t observed in our country, and all norms, guaranteeing human rights are defied. The testimonies of the riot police are beyond criticism. They contradict to the materials of the case. Using the article ‘petty hooliganism’ against the oppositionist shows the cynicism of the authorities and demonstrates their readiness to organize repressions by all means,’ commented U.Labkovich said in the interview to the Charter’97 press center.

Moreover, the riot police were humiliating the detained. They guarded him to the court room without glasses, though the politician has myopia. As it was found out, policemen from Tsentralny district police department took glasses away from Ivashkevich.

The politician spent a night in the special prison facility in Akrestin Street. He filed two petitions to the court today – on calling a lawyer for him and on necessity to give his glasses back.

At first judge Bychko refused to consider a petition on giving back glasses and said that the lawyer could read all materials of the case. The petition was satisfied only after Ivashkevich repeated it. The policemen went the department to bring him glasses, and the politician was placed in a tiny cell in the court.

Before his arrest Viktar Ivashkevich urged Belarusians to come out to Kastrychnitskaya Square in Minsk on 12 December ahead of Vladimir Putin’s visit.