Barysau: court dismissed lawsuit of human rights defenders
On 11 January the court of Barysau issued a verdict on the lawsuit of the human rights defenders Aleh Matskevich and Maryna Statkevich against Barysau district executive committee that had banned holding on 10 December a picket dated to Human Rights Day.
Judge Alena Samtsevich found the ban legal. ‘Frankly speaking, we didn’t try finding comfort in the hope that a decision in our favor would be reached. The executive committee stated that we had presented to it neither any agreement for the presence at our picket of police and doctors, nor any documents confirming the payment for their services. By the way, according to the law, we could pay for these services within ten days after the picket… However, the judge decided that the ban was correct,’ commented Maryna Statkevich.
Bear in mind that five years ago the human rights defenders also sued against Barysau executive committee against a similar ban, and the court issued the same verdict. ‘Five years have passed,’ says Maryna Statkevich, ‘but the result is the same. I can state that the local vertical hasn’t passed the ‘test for liberalization. They have banned mass actions to human rights activists and they continue doing it.’
The human rights defenders intend to appeal against the verdict of Barysau court at Minsk oblast court, though they have little hope for reversal of the verdict. They will also sue against the decision of the executive committee to determine a place for mass actions. At present such place is situated behind Barysau stadium. It is a lonely territory where people don’t even walk their dogs and nobody would notice if any action was held there.