Vitsebsk: court justifies human rights activist Shchukin
Vitsebsk oblast court abolished because of absence of the corpus delicti the verdict of Pershamaiski district court according to which Valer Shchukin was to be punished for petty hooliganism.
Bear in mind that on 11 January Pershamaiski district court of Vitsebsk found 67-year-old pensioner guilty under Article 17.1 of the Administrative Code and sentenced him to pay 70 000 Belarusian rubles (about $27) fine.
As said by Pavel Levinau, representative of the Belarusian Helsinki Committee in Vitsebsk oblast, Shchukin and he composed a complaint to the court without hoping that the judges would take the side of the oppositionist. Nevertheless, the verdict of the district court was reversed.
The incident that was the reason for the trial, took place on 11 December 2008 in Vitsebsk hospital #2. Valer Shchukin came to visit an under-aged Maxim Andreyeu, together with the boy’s relatives. The social services of Vitsebsk wanted to take Maxim away from his family and place him to a social asylum. His mother tried to prove that the actions of the authorities were unlawful and applied to the journalist and human rights activist Valer Shchukin for help.
Mr. Shchukin said that he saw the teenager in a very nervous state. Maxim told him that it was a result of the talk with the psychiatrist Zmitser Syrnikau, who came to take him away to the psycho-neurological dispensary. Valer Shchukin demanded that Syrnikau stopped intimidating the boy. In response, Syrnikau stated that Shchukin was insulting him and called the police. The policemen came to draw a report about Shchukin ‘dirty swearing’ in their presence.