Vitsebsk Regional Court turns down Siarhei Kavalenka’s appeal

2013 2013-04-18T12:47:34+0300 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

Vitsebsk Regional Court upheld the decision by Pershamaiski District Court to fine Siarhei Kavalenka, activist of the Conservative Christian Party “Belarusian Popular Front,” 1 million rubles on disorderly conduct charges.

Siarhei Kavalenka tried to prove his innocence both during the trial on March 26 in Pershamaiski District Court of Vitebsk, and later in the Regional Court. However, Judge Iryna Smaliakova of the Regional Court upheld the decision by Judge Valiantsina Kismiaroshkina of Pershamaiski District Court. The Court implicitly accepted the facts contained in the police report. It said that Kavalenka used obscene language towards a police patrol, after he reportedly was seen walking on the road.

The activist told in the courtroom that after a snowfall there were no sidewalks in the street. Another claim by the police was the absence of a flicker. But it is not necessary to carry them in the city.

However, on April 16 the Inspection of Corrections of Pershamaiski district issued a warning to the activist for a traffic violation recorded in police reports. Siarhei Kavalenka has been on a preventive register n after his release from prison No. 19 in Mahiliou last September. And now that the Regional Court dismissed the appeal, it is likely that a second warning is going to be addressed, for disorderly conduct, a fact which Kavalenka categorically denies. And after a third warning he may be subjected to preventive supervision, which restricts the freedom of movement and the use of leisure time.

According to Siarhei Kavalenka, police authorities attempt to limit his personal freedom. And this happened last year, when the activist was accused of violations of the sentence-related restrictions, home arrest, awarded for hanging a white-red-white flag on a Christmas tree. At the initiative of the Inspection of Corrections the activist was brought to trial and sentenced to 2 years and 1 month of imprisonment in a penal colony, until he was pardoned in September last year.