Ales Bialiatski may not be amnestied because of new financial claims
Ales Bialiatski, a prominent human rights
activist and head of the Human Rights Center "Viasna, reports about
deterioration in confinement conditions in prison due to new claims of the
Pershamaiski district court of Minsk.
There's a threat that Ales Bialiatski won't be granted early release during the July amnesty, RFE/RL reports.
Ales Bialiatski, an inmate of a penal colony in Babruisk, sent a letter to his colleague and friend, human rights activist Valiantsin Stefanovich. Bialiatski writes about the problems he has faced due to a decision of the court to collect 140 million rubles of penalty in addition to 700 million he already paid.
“This new situation worsens Ales's state. He writes due new financial claims he will be allowed to spend only one basic unit instead of previous five to buy food in a prison shop. The main question is that he may have problems with the possible amnesty. The law on amnesty often reads it cannot be applied to the prisoners who have not paid their claims. We know the amnesty will be timed to 3 July (the Independence Day). Ales Bialiatski could count on the release if he did not have financial claims. But now it's a problem.”
Ales Bialiatski sent a supplement to a supervisory appeal to the Minsk City Court he sent in early April. The supplement refers to the decision of the Pershamaiski district court of Minsk to collect from him 140 million rubles of fine. A taxation office wanted Bialiatski to pay 350 million in 2011, but later the sum was indexed and reached 700 million. The court has recently decided the human rights activist must pay additional 140 million rubles. Valiantsin Stefanovich finds these actions illegal: “There could be a fine, but the indexation was carried out by court arbitrary and unlawfully, because the Taxation Code provides the only variant of sum adjustment. It is a fine. No more indexations are possible.”
The date of hearing the supervisory appeal has not been
set yet. Human rights activist's cassation appeal against the sentence was
Ales Bialiatski described his working day in the colony in a letter to Valiatsin Stefanovich.
“Work takes much time. In fact, he has no free time. He packs garment and gloves. Then he works for the colony – cleaning up and so on. There are three checks a day. He says he does not have time to read books or write letters. He does not watch TV. He falls asleep too fast because he gets very tired during the day. The wake up is at 5:30, then work and so on,” Stefanovich said.
The human rights activist was given 4.5 years in prison on accusations of tax evasion. International human rights groups recognized Ales Bialiatski a political prisoner.