More fines awarded to participants of 16 October memorial picket
On 19 October Judge Ilya Svirydau of Homel Chyhunachny Court fined Valery Rybchanka, head of the Belarusian Party of Communists’ Zhlobin district office, BYR 700,000. Mr.Rybchanka is a tenth activists convicted for participating in the 16 October Hanchar and Krasouski memorial action. The total amount of fines is now BYR 10,325,000.
Mr.Rybchanka says he is not surprised by the verdict: ‘Our trials are a conveyor. Once the authorities place you on the conveyor, you WILL be punished. I appealed the policemen’s actions at Homel Chyhunachny Prosecutor’s Office. The appeal was redirected to the local police department. Then I lodged a complaint with Homel Regional Prosecutor’s Office, which ordered Chyhunachny Prosecutor’s Office to consider the claim within a five-day’s time. Ten days have passed and there is no reply so far. They must be deliberately dragging it out, so that the ‘trial’ could take place and the court would fine me.’
It should be noted that Judge Svirydau, unlike many other judges who considered charges brought against the activists, listened to all the arguments by the witnesses and carried out all other procedures. However, it failed to affect the verdict.
On the same day Judge Yaraslau Paremski of Homel Chyhunachny Court fined Uladzimer Katsora, head of the For Freedom movement’s regional office, BYR 1,750,000 in absentia. The activist received the notice by mail. This is the biggest fine out of eleven, awarded to the participants of ‘the unauthorized demonstration.’