Minsk City Court leaves journalist Pavel Sviardlou in jail
Minsk City Court has
considered the appeal lodged by Euroradio journalist Pavel Sviardlou today, on 6
July. Only the lawyer attended the hearing.
The only change made by the City Court is "cosmetic": the old sentence said that Sviardlou had not reacted to policemen's remarks, whereas the new one says that there were no remarks. Bear in mind you that Euroradio has found witnesses who saw Sviardlou's detention right after he had left his house. The witnesses say that Sviardlou did not swear and that his detention looked like a purposeful ambush.
Sviardlou's appeal reached the court on the
evening of 29 June. Meanwhile, Pavel's 15-day imprisonment will finish on 7 July.
He was detained near his house in the morning of 22 June. According to witnesses, Pavel walked out of the house saying nothing and two men in plain clothes approached him, introduced themselves as policemen and suggested he should go to a police bus with them. According to the police, the journalist and the winner of the crystal owl (the best player award of the "What? Where? When?" contest) swore in public "for no reason and with no addressee", and did not react to the policemen's warnings. In the end, he was delivered to the Moscow District Department of Internal Affairs.
The policemen did not let him call to his family and colleagues and write down his own version of the events in the report. Minsk Maskouski District Court sentenced Sviardlou to 15 days of detention on that very day. As Pavel had no opportunity to provide any information about himself, the lawyer and Pavel's colleagues arrived when the judge was already pronouncing the sentence.
The journalist lodged an appeal against the sentence right after his first meeting with the lawyer in Akrestsina Street detention centre on 25 June. The lawyer also sent her own appeal the next day. The hearing was appointed to take place in Minsk City Court on 29 June at 3 p.m. However, it turned out that Sviardlou's appeal had not reached the court within the four days and the hearing was postponed.