Supreme Court doesn’t respond to review appeals of political prisoners

2012 2012-03-01T18:25:43+0300 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en

The activists of the anarchist movement who had been sentenced to prison terms and declared prisoners of conscience, filed review appeals against their verdict.

Mikalai Dziadok filed a review appeal to the Supreme Court in mid-December 2011. Ihar Alinevich and Aliaksandr Frantskevich did it even earlier - in November. According to Article 408 of the Criminal Procedure Code, the complaint should be considered no later than one month from the date of its receipt or not later than one month from the date of receipt of the criminal case if it concerns such a case. The criminal case was passed to the Supreme Court in December 2011. However, the prisoners still haven’t received any answers from it.

By the way, the review appeal of Mikalai Dziadok contained new circumstances that require the Supreme Court to rule on his release. Mikalai Dziadok was born shortly after the Chernobyl accident and for a time lived with his parents in Brahin of Homel region. Residents of these areas are given so-called "Chernobyl certificates" that provide the owners with a number of benefits. Article 1 of the Amnesty Law, which entered into force on 7 July 2010, provides for exemption from punishment of imprisonment with the removal of criminal records of persons affected by the Chernobyl accident.

The majority of the benefits to such people was annulled in 2007, that’s why Mikalai Dziadok had no need in such a certificate before. The Brahin District Court admitted that Mr. Dziadok had lived on this territory. As a result, he was issued with an appropriate certificate. The Supreme Court was to have freed Mikalai from imprisonment. However, a check-up of the legality of the certificate issuance was started instead of it. In fact, the court protracts the time, being afraid to show the initiative. A protest against the verdict of the Brahin District Court was issued by the head of the Homel Regional Court on order of the Supreme Court. In particular, in this protest it is stated that Mr. Dziadok needs to apply to some more state agencies and to the court, whereas more than two months have passed since the receipt of the review appeal by the Supreme Court. Thus, the prisoner is deprived of his right to be amnestied.

Last but not least, after the receipt of the review appeal Mikalai Dziadok was visited by a member of the Chief Directorate for Combating Organized Crime of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Belarus, Aliaksandr Litvinski, who asked him whether he repented in his crimes and changed his convictions. Maybe it was the prisoner’s answer that he has nothing to repent in as he didn’t commit any crimes determined the course of all subsequent actions of the Supreme Court.