Court fines teacher for protesting against construction of chemical plant

2008 2008-06-06T19:16:39+0300 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en

5 June Pukhavichy district court tried the administrative cases against the Tatsiana Dylkova and Nasta Papova, former teachers from the settlement of Druzhny who had taken part in the unauthorized meeting of the local citizens in protest against the construction of a chemical plant in the location by the Russian company Avgust-Bel.

In the very beginning of the trial Nasta Papova pleaded innocent and demanded that a lawyer should be provided to her. The judge agreed with this and postponed the trial to 11 June. ‘We had the right to express our opinion and say our ‘No!’. I am against this plant, as I have to live in Druzhny. If, god forbid, something happens there, we will inescapably face troubles.’

The other defendant, Tatsiana Dylkova, refused from postponement of the trial and was fined 350 000 rubles (about $193).

A leader of the protesters’ movement Siarhei Abrazouski attended the trial. He says that by this process the authorities are trying to show that any of the protesters could be punished. ‘This court does not discriminate in the case. 3 000 persons were at the meeting, but they just says that these two girls will be guilty of everything.

Short before the trial the teachers were fired from secondary school #1 in the settlement of Druzhny and Siarhei Abrazouski was twice fined. Tatsiana Rysiavets, another participant of the meeting, received an official warning from the local procuracy.

The construction of the chemical plant for production of pesticides is initiated by the Russian private company Avgust-Bel. The citizens of the settlements of Druzhny, Dukora, Rudzenski, Svislach and some others protest against the construction of the plant because of the possible danger to their health. They have sent notes of protest to the Constitutional Court, the procuracy, the parliament and the president. Now they are collecting signatures under addresses to the OSCE and the UN.