Fine for honest elections without Lukashenka

2012 2012-08-09T17:06:16+0300 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

Leu Marholin, a deputy head of the United Civil Party, and his election agent Mikhail Vasiliieu have been fined for holding an election picket.

BelaPAN news agency reminds Leu Marholin and Mikhail Vasiliieu were detained on 4 August in Barysau (the Minsk region) during a picket to collect signatures to nominate Marholin as a parliamentary candidate.

Policemen found suspicious the slogan “For honest elections without Lukashneka”. UCP representatives were taken to a police department in Barysau, where police reports over article 23.34 of the Code of Administrative Offenses (violation of the order of organizing and holding a mass event or a picket) were made.

The trial was to take place in Barysau on 6 August, but it was postponed until 6 August on a motion by Marholin. But policemen visited Marholin on 7 August and handed him a summons for 8 August.

“The court sent reports against me and Vasiliieu for rework in the morning,” Marholin said. “The trial with new reports began at 3 p.m. According to reports, we carried out an election campaign, though we were not registered as candidates. In this way our slogan 'For honest elections without Lukashenka' was interpreted by police.”

Marholin and Vasiliieu were found guilty of violating article 23.34 of the Code of Administrative Offenses. Marholin was fined 3 million rubles (about $360) and Vasiliieu – 2 million rubles (about $240).

Leu Marholin says he will not hold pickets to collect signatures. “We don't have enough money to pay for every picket,” he noted.

Marholin does not plan to leave the election campaign. “The party nominated us as parliamentary candidates. We will continue the campaign 'For honest elections without Lukashenka'. In any case, we have already paid the fine, so there's no sense to stop,” he said.