Barys Khamaida gets fined for calls to boycott
The Vitsebsk oppositionist came to the center of the
city with a poster “Boycott to the illegal election to the illegal parliament!”.
He stood there for about two hours, after which he was guarded to the Chyhunachny
District Court of Vitsebsk by officers of the Chyhunachny District Police
Department of Vitsebsk.
Judge Alena Tsyhankova sentenced Mr. Khamaida to a fine of 400,000 rubles for “unauthorized picketing” ignoring his reference t the right to agitate for boycott during the electoral campaign.
“I was fined for unlawful picketing. I didn’t deny agitating for boycott. This is my position: I consider the election as unlawful and non-free, and the future Parliament – as illegitimate. The judge went out of the court room, consulted somebody, and then announced that I was fined 4 basic units,” said Barys Khamaida.
The activist is sure that his deed is an example not only to adherents of boycott, but also to the independent candidates who decided to take part in the electoral campaign:
“If they still have no leaflets and posters, everything is quite simple: you can make a poster on your own and come out to the people. It’s all legal!,’ he added.
The poster wasn’t returned to Barys Khamaida. What concerns other attempts to hold pickets for boycott in Vitsebsk, they are really under prohibition.
Thus, activists of the Conservative-Christian Party “Belarusian Popular Front” have filed more than 10 applications for boycott pickets. However, the district administrations answered that such pickets have no relation to the electoral campaign and therefore fall under provisions of the law “On Mass Events”, which means that they can be held only in the specially determined places and with the use of paid services of police, medics and communal utilities.
“Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections”