Vitsebsk: Kastrychnitski district court to deliver judgment on Aleh Surhan’s case on 19 February

2010 2010-02-17T20:59:07+0200 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

Hearing of Aleh Surhan’s criminal case ended in the Kastrychnitski district court of Vitsebsk. Surhan was detained on suspicion of hanging out a white-red-white flag.

Aleh Surhan is charged with having attacked police Syarhei Dudkevich. According to RFE/RL, Judge Yauhen Burunau is supposed to deliver his judgement at 10 a.m. on Friday, 19 February.

The prosecutor said at today’s trial that Aleh Surhan should be sentenced to 3 years in a maximum security penal colony, as the defendant had two previous criminal convictions.

At present, policeman Siarhei Dudkevich, who says the defendant attacked him and bit his finger of the left hand in the police car, demands not 1 million Belarusian rubles in compensation for moral damage, but 10 million.

Earlier he said he was afraid to catch hepatitis, because he thinks Aleh Surhan has this disease. Now he says he had to move to a lower position with lower salary.

Aleh Surhan friends think these words prove that command finds guilt of the militiaman, though prosecutors refused to instigate a criminal case against the law-enforcement officer for misuse of power.

Barrister Viachaslau Praskalovich said evidence of the police was lies, because it contradicted evidence of witnesses. Controversial medical reports are also doubtful: one says the wound on the finger was 2 to 3 millimeters, another says it was 5 to 25 millimeters.

Viachaslau Praskalovich thinks the criminal case against Aleh Surhan was instigated after a  white-red-white flag had been hung out in Frunze Avenue in Vitsebsk on 3 September. It was decided to detain Surhan after the incident, but he demanded to attach the things he had. Surhan wanted to prevent possibly provocations. However, policemen refused to do this and interpreted actions of the detainee as disobedience.

According to the ‘victim’ Siarhei Dudkevich, Aleh Surhan was ‘rubbing his cheeks against the floor’ and ‘banging his head against the panels of the car’, afflicting bodily harm to himself.

Defendant Aleh Surhan and his brother, Young Belarus activist Taras Surhan, who saw the moment of detention, deny evidence of Siarhei Dudkevich. Taras Surhan showed photos he made with his cell phone proving Aleh Surhan had bruises on his face and traces of handcuffs on is wrists.