Searches and arrests in Vitsebsk
Paval Liavinau, member of the Belarusian Helsinki Committee (BHC), got 10 days of administrative arrests and a fine of 700 000 rubles (about 328 US dollars).
As Vitsebsk office of the BHC press service informs, this sentence to the human rights activist was pronounced today. Liavinau was detained on 27 March during rendering legal assistance to journalist Vadzim Barshcheuski, whose apartment had been searched in the connection of the case of Minich-Marozau-Abozau (case of cartoons). Liavinau was accused of ‘using foul language and resistance’ to the police.
According to the official accusation, during the detention Liavinau allegedly insulted with four-letter words the major of internal affairs Ihar Skryhanovich, on the request of whom a police officer even took video of the incident. According to the human rights activist he said only ‘take video, that I am not doing anything like that’. The footage wasn’t attached to the case, because the camera belongs to a police officer, and he can use the material at his discretion.
The case includes some more discordance. So, Paval Lyavinau was searched by Skryhanovich, who acts as a witness in the administrative case.
During the search the police major took away 66 items. Though article 8.9 of the Procedure Code of Administrative Offences, provides confiscation only of those documents and instruments of administrative offence that have importance for the case. However, the major took away other things: business card of the French Ambassador, driver’s license, a button and others. So, all these things can confirm the use of foul language.
In the sign of protest against the unfair, in his view, detention and accusation, Liavinau went on hunger strike, which lasted since 27 March till 10 April, and attended the trial in a T-shirt ‘I don’t use foul language.’
It should be reminded that three KGB officers burst into the apartment of Leanid Svetsik and searched it on 23 May. They seized office equipment and printed materials, including calendars, dedicated to the UN 60th anniversary. The human rights activist was questioned in the local KGB department from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. These actions were carried on in accordance with the order of the prosecutor’s office on instigating a criminal case on ‘incitement of ethnic and religious hatred’.