Lawtrend and Viasna launch campaign of judicial monitoring
A number of human rights defenders representing the Human Rights Center “Viasna” and the Center for Legal Transformation “Lawtrend” conducted on 20 June monitoring of 11 administrative trials in the courts of Minsk Kastrychnitski and Leninski districts.
The human rights defenders say the trials were marred by several violations. In particular, court clerks failed to post information on 10 out of 11 trials on the information boards.
Judge Kamushkin, who heard 10 administrative cases, did not give his name at the beginning of the trial. Moreover, each trial lasted for an average five minutes.
Defendants were often deprived of a right to know their rights and obligations. Case files were not presented to those attending the trials. Many trials were held under concise procedures, without explanations on the essence of the procedure and its possible aftermath. Charges were not announced, deciding on the type of punishment on the spot. Procedures for appealing the verdicts were not explained. None of the trials involved witnesses (policemen) or representatives of the investigating authority.
The monitoring group faced certain obstacles from the court officials. However, the human rights defenders were eventually allowed monitoring after clarifications.