Vitsebsk activist Barys Khamaida fined 200,000 rubles
Judge Mrs. Alena Tsyhankova of Vitsebsk Kastrychnitski District Court has found opposition activist Barys Khamaida guilty of committing an offence under Art. 17.1 of the Administrative Code and fined him BYR 200,000.
Barys Khamaida was convicted for alleged attempting to start a fight in one of the city’s food stores, outside which the opposition activist has been distributing independent press for many years.
The incident addressed by the court took place on 6 September, when Mr. Khamaida was approached by policemen and told to leave the place outside the store.
“When I refused to obey, the policemen told something to the manager of the store. Then the manager came out and told that the place would be occupied by street trading. The lady grabbed a white-red-white ribbon with the Pahonya coat of arms, which is also the coat of arms of Vitsebsk region. I pushed her hand. However, the manager said I was misbehaving and insulting her, and then she called the police,” says Mr. Khamaida.
During the court hearing, the opposition activist said he had no intention to insult Mrs. Natallia Belizhenka. He also said the incident was aimed at putting and end to the distribution of independent media outside 28 Lenin Street.
Barys Khamaida motioned for screening of video surveillance records. However, Judge Tsyhankova, who had previously convicted Mr. Khamaida, said rejected the motion and ruled to fine the activist.