Vitsebsk activists charged twice for single violation
A member of the Belarusian Popular
Front Party Kastus Smolikau was charged with the excess of the
legally allowed circulation of officially unregistered press
editions. On 24 April a similar report was drawn up on Leanid
Autukhou, the head of Vitsebsk regional branch of the Belarusian
Popular Front Party. There it is written that the legally allowed
circulation of an unregistered edition cannot exceed 299 copies,
whereas a much larger number of bulletins was confiscated from the
detainees on 22 March.
Smolikau and Autukhou were detained on 22 March in the shopping center "Evicom" while handing out the "Magistrate" bulletin. The same day Judge Ina Hrabouskaya, punished each of them with 5 days of arrest.
Smolikau and Autukhou insist that nobody counted the confiscated copies of the bulletin in their presence. Moreover, all of them were to be destroyed according to the ruling of Kastrychnitski District Court of Vitsebsk of 25 March, according to which they were sentenced to 5 days of arrest for the alleged violation of the Law "On Mass Events" as the bulletin contained invitations to the Freedom Day rally in Vitsebsk. By the way, at the time of the detention Mr. Autukhou hasn't received the answer of the authorities to his application for the authorization of the event (though according to the law such answer was to have been given at least 5 days prior to the rally). On the other hand, the answer was given immediately on request of the police.
The day of the trial on the new charges hasn't been appointed yet.