Vitsebsk police passing case of Chernobyl picket to Kastrychnitski District Court

2013 2013-05-01T15:00:10+0300 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
Yan Dziarzhautsau, Vitsebsk activist of the Conservative Christian Party “Belarusian Popular Front”.

Yan Dziarzhautsau, Vitsebsk activist of the Conservative Christian Party “Belarusian Popular Front”.

On 30 April the member of the Conservative-Christian Party "Belarusian Popular Front" Yan Dziarzhautsau was charged with a violation of the Law "On Mass Events". The police summonsed him to Kastrychnitski District Police Department in order to register the violation which they hadn't witnessed – the violation report was drawn up on the basis of the photos found on the Internet.

Yan Dziarzhautsau states that at the police station he was asked about the action they held together with his fellow partisan Vital Kavalenka on 26 April, an anniversary of Chernobyl accident. They went out to Zamkavaya Street and to the monument to P. Masherau with the posters "Only an enemy of Belarus can construct a nuclear power plant without the people's agreement", and "Dictator if you construct an NPP in Astravets you'll reap Chernobyl".

Most probably, the police were called by a passer-by. However, the police car arrived when the activists rolled up their posters and were going to leave. The police warned that unfurling of the posters would be qualified as an unauthorized event. However, the deputy head of the public order and prophylaxis department Andrei Ivanou asked to be shown what was written on them – "to see whether there are no calls to coup d'etat".

A police cameraman was shooting us on video while we were talking to Ivanou. It can be seen on the video that the posters are rolled up. We were accompanied by a police patrol up to a public transport station so that we wouldn't unfurl the posters in another place. However, at Kastrychnitski DPD I was told that there were many witnesses of our picket. I answered that it wasn't a picket, as far as we didn't express any political slogans or demands. There some our opinions on the posters – that we are against the construction of the NPP in Belarus. I think that people have the right to free expression of their opinion, but the police seem to disagree with it," said Yan Dziarzhautsau.

The activist says that the action was shot on mobile phones. In the midday of 26 April the photos appeared at various websites. According to the police, it can become an evidence at the trial.

At Kastrychnitski DPD Yan Dziarzhautsau was said that the case would be passed to court on 6 May. The police are also looking for the other participant of the picket, Siarhei Kavalenka's brother Vital Kavalenka to present him with a notice and draw up a violation report.