Minsk: court defends ‘Sovetskaya Belorussiya’

2009 2009-05-15T18:39:54+0300 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en http://spring96.org/files/images/sources/vouchak.jpg The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

The court of Savetski district of Minsk dismissed the claim of the human rights defender Aleh Vouchak to Sovetskaya Belorussia, a newspaper of Lukashenka’s Administration for defense of honor, dignity and business reputation.

The human rights activist demanded the newspaper to pay compensation of 70 million rubles and deny information he found insulting, RFE/RL reports.

The judge Eduard Yakubouski explained the dismissal by the fact that the newspaper allegedly referred to a number of other materials and other media. Aleh Vouchak is not satisfied with this decision. He thinks the newspaper was spreading libel against him and is going to appeal against the decision in the Minsk City Court.

‘We haven’t received the motivation part of the verdict yet – I had to leave for a meeting with representatives of the diplomatic corps in Belarus. So, we’ll get this part later. As soon as we receive this part, we will appeal against this judgment,” Aleh Vouchak told in an interview to the BelaPAN.

According to him, there are enough reasons to appeal against the decision of the district court. The human rights defender reminded that according to the Law on Media reprinting of materials and using information of other media doesn’t release an edition from responsibility.

It should be reminded that an article ‘We have many oddities, and every oddball here is Beethoven!’ was printed in the newspaper on 6 March. The author of the article, Xenofont Superfosfatov, wrote about the human rights activists Aleh Vouchak and Yana Paliakova. He described an incident on a parking lot in 2003. According to the author Aleh Vouchak told media he had been attacked by secret services and called that revenge for his human rights activity. Vouchak denies information published in the article.

The public activist is also indignant at the words in the article saying Belarusian human rights activists can’t be called so. It should be noted that the following day after the article had been published the human rights defender from Salihorsk Yana Paliakova hanged herself in her flat.