Minsk City Court refuses to punish Judge Siamak
In March the deputy head of the Human Rights Center "Viasna" Valiantsin Stefanovich was put on the list of the people who are temporary prohibited to travel abroad.
At first he applied to the Partyzanski District Police Department, asking to explain him the reasons for such restraint. The police department answered that he was put on the list because of "evasion from measures connected to draft to the military service". However, Mr. Stefanovich is twelve years older than the upper limit of the call-up age. Moreover, he served in the army long ago. Moreover, the district military enlistment office denied putting him on the list.
Thus, the human rights defender applied to the Tsentralny District Court of Minsk to appeal the unlawful foreign travel restrictions. Though the legal term for considering such appeals is one month, and the judge was to have done it by 26 April, she still hasn't done it.
As a result, on 4 May Mr. Stefanovich applied to the Minsk City Court, asking to punish the judge Alena Siamak for a gross violation of the law by duty inaction. However, the head of the court, Uladzimir Putsila, answered that the judge was "too busy at work" and therefore there were no reasons to punish her.
By the way, many political and public activists to whom unlawful foreign travel restrictions have been applied on order of the top-rank Belarusian officials face the same problem (at present, we know the surnames of 12 people who are banned to travel abroad on political grounds).
Taking into account that such unlawful measures are applied towards politicians, civil activists and journalists, Valiantsin Stefanovich considers it not as a "technical mistake", but as a purposeful campaign, carried out by the Belarusian secret services. He also stated it in his appeal to the Investigative Committee.
He received an answer from the head of the department of citizen's applications and crime investigation Mikalai Daniliuk, in which it is stated that this case is not in the competence of the Investigative Committee.
At present Valiantsin Stefanovich is waiting for an answer from the Ministry of Internal Affairs, to which he applied with a request to exclude his surname from the database of the persons who are banned to travel abroad. "After depleting all remedies at the national level I intend to address the UN Human Rights Committee with an individual appeal concerning the registration denial to the Human Rights Center "Viasna", the unlawful limitation of my right to leave my country – solely because of my human rights activities, and the denial in access to justice – as I applied to the court which simply ignores my case," commented the human rights defender.