People’s Assembly organizers appeal administrative sentences
Uladzimir Shantsau, Mahiliou leader of the United Civil Party, has lodged an appeal against a verdict by Judge Aksana Ratnikava of Leninski District Court who fined the activist BYR 1.4 mln for involvement in the organization of the People’s Assembly.
In his appeal, Mr. Shantsau argues that the event was held in accordance with the Law on National and Local Assemblies; in particular, its organizers had collected the required 10 per cent of signatures by the district’s residents.
“We notified the city executive committee and Leninski district executive committee that the provision of the Law had been implemented. We also invited them to the People’s Assembly. However, after the event was over I was summoned to the police department, where I was charged with violating the Law on National and Local Assemblies. My charges were later changed and I was accused of violating the Mass Events Code. Meanwhile, the Law on National on Local Assemblies does not require applying for permission to hold an event. All the papers presented to the court say that what we held was a local assembly,” says Uladzimir Shantsau.
Another complaint by organizer of the People’s Assembly Mrs. Zinaida Mikhniuk was lodged with the department of internal affairs of Brest regional executive committee. Mrs. Mikhniuk was detained on 8 October. The detention was reportedly accompanied with numerous procedural violations. She was taken to the police department and eventually fined BYR 70,000 for alleged using foul language.
However, the city’s high police chiefs believe Mrs. Mikhniuk’s rights were not violated.