Trial on Rehabilitation of Z.Zhaleznichenka at University
The first court hearing on claim of youth democratic activist Zmitser Zhaleznichenka against the Frantsysk Skaryna Homel State University was held on 5 March in the court of the Tsentralny district of Homel.
Former student, activist of the Belarusian Popular Front party, will appeal against his second expulsion from the university. Rector of the university signed up an order on Z.Zhaleznichenka’s expulsion on 22 January, and the young man was drafted to army on 25 January.
The military unit gave permission for activist to attend the court. More than 30 people, including local opposition leaders, came to support him at the first trial. Z.Zhaleznichenka applied for Harry Pahaniaila’s participating in the process. Harry Pahaniaila, chairman of the legal committee at the Belarusian Helsinki Committee (BHC), arrived in Homel for the trial. After an hour meeting, judge Zhana Andreichyk rejected an application. She explained the case touched personal interests of a citizen, not interests of an organization, so the representation of a public association was not necessary. Defendant Valery Nedastup, head of the legal department of the university, agreed with the judge. He said Z.Zhaleznichenka was a ‘common and not important for the pubic’ person.
‘It’s not the right of the court to decide what case is important for the public, and what is not’, Pahaniaila said in the interview to BelaPAN. ‘People from Homel and whole Belarus are watching the destiny of Zmitser. The decision of the judge on refusing the application is clearly unlawful, and we reverse the right to appeal against it, because it was derogation from the BHC’s rights.’
Former student requires rector’s order on expulsion to be cancelled. The reason for expulsion was an administrative arrest, Z.Zhaleznichenka got last September for allegedly hooliganism. The university administration considers the student violated internal rules of the university. ‘Even if I had committed offend, I had got the punishment for it by serving a term of arrest. Laws don’t allow double punishment’, the activist said at the trial.
Zhaleznichenka’s defense called into question legality of internal rules. The claimant is sure that the university violated the decision of the first court, according to which the young man had received all rights of a student: ‘They should have read me lectures I had missed due to the fault of the university administration and allowed me to take exams. But I was expelled for the second time just after I had been rehabilitated at the place of study.’
The next trial is scheduled for 6 March. Z.Zhaleznichenka returned to the Zhlobin military unit accompanied by senior military servicemen. The question on his further presence at the court hearing will be considered by a commander.