Actions in support of Ales Bialiatski are still banned in Belarus
On 10 October the Leninski District Court fined human rights defender Viktar Sasonau, who had been detained on 23 august for handing out leaflets with information about the arrest of Ales Bialiatski, chairman of the Human Rights Center “Viasna”. The same day the police held a search at his apartment, confiscated two computer system units, informational and human rights editions and T-shirts with Bialiatski's portraits.
Judge Kseniya Kastsiukevich started trying Sazonau's case on 21 September. On 10 October Mr. Sazonau was sentenced to pay a fine of 735,000 rubles. The human rights defender disagrees with the verdict, as the right to receive and disseminate information is guaranteed by the Constitution.
On 15 September Slonim resident Ivan Sheha addressed the Slonim District Executive Committee with the request to authorize a picket dedicated to informing Slonim population about activities of the Human Rights Center “Viasna” and its leader Ales Bialiatski.
The Slonim District Executive Committee answered with a denial on the last day before the action, 7 October. The same day Ivan Sheha applied to the procuracy, as the Slonim DEC violated the Law of the Republic of Belarus “On Mass Events”, according to which it was to have answered earlier. He also prepares an appeal to the Hrodna Region Executive Committee.
Raman Dziahoda, Judge of the Chyhunachny District Court of Vitsebsk turned down the appeal of human rights defender Leanid Svetsik against the ban of a picket in support of Ales Bialiatski, issued by Yury Maskaliou, chairman of the Chyhunachny District Executive Committee of Vitsebsk.
Bear in mind that Leanid Svetsik wanted to hold the picket on 22 August. However, the authorities didn't authorize the action as the applicant didn't conclude service agreements with the police, public utilities and medics.
In his complaint the human rights defender asked the court to abolish the picket ban and oblige the city authorities to introduce amendments to ruling #881 (according to which they allowed holding opposition's actions only in one place). Now Mr. Svetsik intends to appeal the court verdict at higher court instances.
On 13 October the Chyhunachny District Court of Vitsebsk will consider a similar appeal, filed by Khrystafor Zhaliapau, chairman of the Vitsebsk regional branch of the “For Freedom!” movement, who also decided to struggle for the freedom of expression after getting eight denials in holding pickets and rallies in the officially allowed place, the Park of Culture and Rest of Railawymen.
Despite the action bans, Belarusian human rights defenders still find ways to support Ales Bialiatski. In particular, lawyer Uladzimir Malei took part in the 28-th 10-kilometer marathon during the state festival “Dazhynki” in Malaryta on 8 October. He and Vasil Matusevich ran there in black T-shirts with the inscription “Freedom to Ales Bialiatski!”.
The police vigilantly watched the event and made videoshots.