Court sees no crime in police beating Kavalenka

2010 2010-04-02T20:31:31+0300 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

Siarhei Kavalenka wanted the policemen, who had beaten him during the detention after he had hung out a national white-red-white flag in Vitsebsk, to be brought to legal account.

Mr. Kavalenka filed a complaint with the Kastrychnitski district court about excessive use of power by the policemen who had detained him on 7 January for hanging out a national flag, RFE/RL reminds. According to the activist, lieutenant colonel Andrei Ivanou, junior sergeant Maksim Maksimau and senior sergeant Vasil Palityka insulted and beat him, bodily injury was recorded at medical examination.

Judge Tatsiana Zhuraukova refused to consider the activist’s complaint in court. As Kavalenka learnt from materials of the criminal case, the three policemen demanded him to pay 10 million rubles to each as a compensation for moral damage. They say the activist showed disobedience to police officers at the moment of detention and insulted them.

Siarhei Kavalenka pleads not guilty to charges of disobedience and hooliganism, as officer of the Kastrychnitski district police department determined the act of raising a white-red-white flag on a Christmas tree on 7 January. A member of the BPF Christian Conservative Party from Vitsebsk filed several requests to investigator Andrei Baranau. Kavalenka wanted the investigation not to take into consideration conflicting evidence of witnesses and demanded to admit that his action wasn’t hooliganism and the case was politically motivated.

According to lawyer Piotr Kavalenka, the investigator dismissed all requests and wrote in a response that they 'contradicted the facts of evidence in the criminal case'.

The criminal case against Siarhei Kavalenka is to be sent to a prosecutor’s office and then to court. If accusations presented against Siarhei Kavalenka are proved in the court, he will face up to 6 years in prison.