Baranavichy activists gets fined for “participation” in canceled public event
Katsiaryna Hruda, Judge of the
Baranavichy City and District Court, fined the head of the
Baranavichy organization of the Belarusian Language Society, activist
of the “For Freedom” movement Viktar Syrytsa 2 million rubles.
The activist was charged under Article 23.34 of the Code of Administrative Violations of the Republic of Belarus, “violation of the rules of organizing and holding mass events”, for an attempt to hold an action dedicated to the 150th anniversary of the Milavidy Battle, in which Kalinouski's insurgents fought against the troops of the Russian Empire.
The judge hastily left the courtroom after the announcement of the ruling, accompanied by the shouts “Shame!”.
Katsiaryna Hruda ignored tthe words of police major Kuliashou that the event didn't take place as it was cancelled by the city authorities without notifying the press. Nevertheless, the judge declared Syrytsa an organizer of an unauthorized event.
Mr. Syrytsa says that there should have been neither the shameful charges, which were rewritten twice to fit the punishment, not the trial. He also considers it a provocation by the police and authorities that feast was cancelled, whereas the people weren't warned. Even when people arrived and waited 30 minutes for the event, neither the police nor the head of the ideological department of the Baranavichy City Executive Committee Varvashenia came up to warn that it wouldn't take place.