Activist Ramanovich appeals civil sentence
Aliaksandr Ramanovich, BPF member and activist of the ‘For Freedom’ movement, lodged a complaint with Brest Regional Court, appealing against the decision by Pinsk District Court. On 16 June the court sentenced the activist to a BYR 1,050,000 fine for alleged ‘illegal production of printed materials’ (Par 2 of Art. 22.9 of the Civil Code).
Mr. Ramanovich argues that the verdict was illegal since the new version of the Article provides for a punishment only in case of production and subsequent distribution of printed materials. ‘The courts, unfortunately, have failed to keep up with the legislation changes, making use of the older versions, and illegally prosecute pro-democratic activists under civil proceedings,’ says Uladzimir Labkovich, lawyer of the Human Rights Center ‘Viasna’.
On 17 June, Astravets District Court dismissed similar charges brought against local activist Ivan Kruk, being unable to prove that he had been engaged in production of printed materials.