Brest: young anti-fascists sentenced to 6 months of personal restraint

2009 2009-07-15T17:22:44+0300 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

Maskouski district court of Brest sentenced three people to personal restraint for alleged initiation of a fight in a bus. Representatives of the Belarusian Helsinki Committee in Brest state that the case was controlled by the KGB.

Vital Astapiuk, Uladzimir Dudarha and Dzmitry Kazlianka pleaded innocent. On 14 July they were sentenced to 18 months of personal restraint. These terms were reduced by 12 months because of the amnesty in honor of the 65th anniversary of liberation of Minsk from the Nazi troops. The convicts were made to give written recognizance not to leave Brest.

A friend of the defendants commented: ‘Today there was even a state accuser, major, though the defendants were tried for ‘petty hooliganism’. Everything is grounded on testimonies of the ‘victims’, who, strangely enough, were absent at this court sitting, as well as at all previous ones. These victims are known as hooligans themselves. It seems to me they are fans of Brest football club Dynamo, who usually assault the people like my friends.’

The member of the Belarusian Helsinki Committee explained: ‘The KGB started pressurizing Dzmitry for two refusals to come to the KGB for a talk. Then they started looking for an opportunity to get him imprisoned. The ‘offended guy’ heads a local skinhead gang, his nick is Kasukha. Nazi skinheads are set against representatives of informal youth movements. In autumn 2008 – winter 2009 the KGB warned 15 people against taking part in anti-fascist activities.’

Mr. Lazarenkau also mentioned the banned concert of anti-fascist bands on 10 May and a fight in the city park: ‘There was a fight in the park, initiated by a skinhead from Kavaliouka, Yuzhnik. The police have always washed him white, even when he organized this fight. 50 hooligans were beating everyone in front of the police’s eyes and nobody was even arrested. At the same time, the anti-fascists who came to the park for the concert are watched by the KGB and the police and pressurized as representatives of informal youth groups.’

KGB-initiated persecution of Leanid Svetsik for giving legal aid to receivers of threat letters on behalf of the illegal Russian neo-Nazi organization Russian National Unity, amnestying of an RNU member in Homel (the amnesty was declared in honor of the 65th anniversary of liberation of Minsk from the German Nazi troops), the recent threats of fascists to the editor of Charter’97 Natallia Radzina, the latest events in Brest – all these things show that Belarus is gradually becoming a fascist state.