Katsiaryna Salauyova – another victim of the Belarusian regime
The Human Rights Center “Viasna” protests against shameful practice of prosecuting youth activists for participation in an unregistered organization.
On March 27th, 2008 Polatsak city court was supposed to start the trial over youth activist Katsiaryna Salauyova. In January 2008 she was expelled from the 2nd year of Faculty of History and Philology of Polatsak State University.
On December 28th, 2007 Katsiaryna Salauyova was recognized a suspect in the criminal case, instigated by Polatsak city department of internal affairs, under Article 193.1 of the Criminal Code – “Organizing activity of a public association, religious organization, or a fund, which did not go through state registration according to the established order, or participation in such organizations”. According to the ruling about instigating criminal proceedings, Katsiaryna Salauyova is suspected of activity on behalf of unregistered youth organization Young Front. The youth activist faces a fine, an arrest of up to 6 months, or imprisonment of up to 2 years.
The Human Rights Center “Viasna” believes that the criminal persecution of Katsiaryna Salauyova is politically motivated. One more time we state that Article 193.1 of the Criminal Code is of purely political nature, and is aimed at prohibiting activity of civic and political activists, whose convictions do not coincide with the state ideology. Article 193.1 violates the right of citizens to freedom of association and expression of opinions, guaranteed by the Constitution of the Republic of Belarus, and contradicts the international obligations in the sphere of human rights undertaken by the Republic of Belarus. Criminal responsibility for activity on behalf of unregistered organization is inadmissible for a democratic country.
We demand from the authorities to stop prosecution of Katsiaryna Salauyova and other youth activists for politically-motivated reasons, to cancel Article 193.1 of the Criminal Code, and to bring the legislation in line with the Constitution of Belarus and the International Pact on Civic and Political Rights; to ensure the right and freedoms of the citizens of the country.