Hrodna Regional Court: A Corporate Wall
On December 20, Hrodna Regional Court heard the complaints by three Svislach civil society activists – Viktar Dziasiatsik, Yury Hlebik and Anatol Valiuk – who contested an earlier decision by Svislach District Court.
On November 27,
Judge Zhanna Salahubik sentenced the three activists to a fine of 1 mln rubles each
for allegedly participating in an unsanctioned rally held in Svislach on October
27 – a
traditional Memorial Day of 1863 Uprising celebrated every year.
The formal consideration of each of the complaints lasted three to five minutes. What is unprecedented is that the three similar complaints were considered by three different judges. The first of them, Piotr Bandyk, who "heard" the complaint of Viktar Dziasiatsik, did not even give his name – either at the beginning of the court session or during the announcement of judgment. Viktar Dziasiatsik confirmed his reasons for a complaint – in reality he was fined for coming to his hometown, there was no evidence of his participation in the unsanctioned rally in the case file; the documented evidence of the policemen confirmed justify Dziasiatsik’s innocence, too. However, the judge of the Regional Court did not take into account the circumstances of the case and the arguments set out in the complaint, upholding the decision by to the Court of Svislach. After that, Judge Piotr Bandyk said that if the Memorial Day had been held on November 2 (on Dziady), there would have been no violations of law by the participants of the rally, which sounded like a legal nonsense.
Anatol Valiuk’s complaint was considered by Judge A. Kozel, the complaint of Yury Hlebik – by Judge Mikalai Rachynski. Predictably, both confirmed the decision of Svislach District Court.
In essence, Hrodna Regional Court once again showed its corporate pseudo-solidarity and confirmed the illegal actions and decisions of the district police and courts.