‘Speak Truth’ wins trial
On 8 July, the Minsk Economic Court didn’t grant the claim of the Minsk City Executive Committee about the liquidation of the educational establishment Movement Forward, the organizer of the Speak Truth civil campaign.
The previous court sitting took place on 10 June. That day Judge Andrei Aliashkevich granted the motion of Movement Forward for being provided with the necessary documents that were situated in their office that had been sealed by the police. On 6 July, the organization representatives were finally let in the office, but the necessary documents weren’t found there. As a result, the perspectives of the trial looked quite pessimistic.
The judge asked many questions during today’s sitting. The main accusation against Movement Forward was that the institution had presented knowingly false information about its legal address. Mr. Liashkevich insistently asked the plaintiff whether the defendant had really known that the information was false and who suffered in this situation. Emiliya Pazniak, a representative of the justice department of the Minsk City Executive Committee, tried to answer these questions, but the answers weren’t always convincing. Eventually, the judge ruled to dismiss the claim of the Minsk City Executive Committee for the liquidation of Movement Forward.
On 18 May, all offices of Movement Forward and the apartments of more than 20 activists of Speak Truth all over Belarus were searched. Computers, documents and money were confiscated from them. Poet Uladzimir Niakliayeu (the institution director) and two its activists, Andrei Dzmitryieu and Siarhei Vazniak, were detained and placed to the delinquents’ isolation center in Akrestsin Street in Minsk for three days as suspects in a criminal case under Article 250 of the Criminal Code, ‘dissemination of false information about goods and services’. Nobody has received official charges on this case so far. Officers of the Leninski District Police Department of Minsk, where the case is investigated, saying the investigation is still in progress. The activists, in their turn, still haven’t been returned the confiscated information carriers, money and documents.