Vitsebsk: political activist Taras Surhan sentenced to a year of preventive supervision

2010 2010-02-02T23:19:52+0200 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

The reason for supervision is that the Vitsebsk activist Taras Surhan had been detained three times and convicted for participation in oppositional actions. The Chyhunachny District Court in Vitsebsk sentenced the activist to a year of preventive supervision.

Deputy commander of public security police of Chyhunachny district, Viktar Kokhtau, petitioned for restriction of freedom for the opposition activist.

The police representative stated that Taras Surhan, who has previous criminal record, hasn’t mended his ways, consorted with oppositionists and started to take part in unsanctioned rallies.

The formal reason for supervision was the fact that in 2009 Taras Surhan was detained and punished for participation in actions with white-red-white flags three times.

Judge Sviatlana Varatynskaya supported the initiative of the policemen. As a result, Taras Surhan is to be under police supervision for a year. Now he does not have a right to leave Vitsebsk without authorization of police, he cannot leave his house from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m., visit shops, restaurants where alcohol is sold, and other public places.

Bear in mind that Taras Surhan was detained on 9 January when he was taking out the trash. Tsyhankova, Judge of the Chyhunachny district court in Vitsebsk, found him guilty of ‘using obscene language’. This article is widely used in Belarus to arrest oppositionists to hide political motivations of repressions.

As said by the activist, he connects his arrest provocations against all oppositionists of Vitsebsk, after a white-red-white flag appeared on the top of the main Christmas tree.

34-year-old Siarhei Kavalenka was detained for that on 7 January. On 10 January, he was placed in pre-trial prison for two months on a decision of the prosecutor of Vitsebsk. A case under article 339, part 2 of the Criminal Code (repeated hooliganism, or committed by a group of persons, or connected with committing less serious bodily harm) was instigated against him. Under this article a punishment could be up to 6 years of imprisonment. On 12 January the oppositionist was released with a written undertaking not to leave the place.