Autukhovich’s wife is forced to testify against her husband

2009 2009-10-05T18:35:08+0300 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

Vital Klachko, investigator of Autukhovich’s case, refuses to give the lawyer Aleh Vouchak a general power of attorney of the Autukhovichs. Besides, he demands that Alena Autukhovich should be questioned as a witness, though the women refused to give evidence.

Aleh Vouchak calls the actions of the investigation an absolute lawlessness. ‘Alena Autukhovich refused to give evidence against herself and her family at the beginning of investigation’, Aleh Vouchak says. ‘She didn’t commit anything unlawful – according to the Constitution and the Criminal Process Code any citizen of Belarus has the right not to give evidence against himself/herself and his or her family. No one has the right to summon relatives again.’

According to Aleh Vouchak, on 30 September a letter from the investigation was sent to the office where Mikalai Autukhovich used to work. The letter says the wife of the political prisoner was to come to the investigator and give evidence as a witness and also bring a health certificate.

Entrepreneurs Mikalai Autukhovich, Yury Liavonau, and Uladzimir Asipenka were detained in Vaukavysk on 8 February. On 18 February the entrepreneurs were charged under Article 218 of the Criminal Code (intentional damage to or destruction of property of citizens). On 23 June a criminal case under Article 359 of the Criminal Code (a terroristic act) in the form of preparation (Article 13) was instigated against Autukhovich and ‘other persons’, the the Ministry of Internal Affairs reported.

Human rights activists consider the detained to be political prisoners drawing attention to the fact that Autukhovich and Liavonau were convicted before and recognized prisoners of conscience by the international community.

Liavonau was released from the pre-trial detention office in Minsk on his own recognition on 8 August. All investigating activities against him were stopped.