Vitsebsk resident seeks protection from UN Special Rapporteur
Vitsebsk resident Pyotr Ivanov sent a complaint against the officers of the government of the Republic of Belarus to the office of Mrs. Margaret Sekaggya, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders. He asks to recognize that the officials acted against him, as a human rights defender, in an unacceptable manner that is contrary to the spirit and letter of the Declaration on the Right and Responsibility of Individuals, Groups and Organs of Society to Promote and Protect Universally Recognized Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.
He also requests that the Special Rapporteur recommended the Republic of Belarus to eliminate the violations and prevent them in the future.
In his address to the UN expert, Pyotr Ivanov reminds the chronology of events. In March, he addressed Police Chief of Vitsebsk Regional Executive Committee Ihar Yauseyeu with a statement on a violation of traffic rules by road policemen. Pyotr Ivanov witnessed the violation, when the policemen detained civil society activists Aliaksei Kishchuk and Stas Laurenau.
The statement was considered by Lieutenant Colonel Aliaksandr Stsiapanau. As a result, instead of punishing the police offenders it was the applicant himself who was punished, as he allegedly slandered police officers. Lieutenant Colonel Stsiapanau drafted a police report on an administrative violation, and Judge Valiantsina Kismiaroshkina of Vitsebsk Pershamaiski District Court sentenced Pyotr Ivanov to a fine of 4 million rubles.
Later, Judge Sviatlana Ivanova of Vitsebsk Regional Court, who considered the appeal of the case, received strong evidence that Judge Kismiaroshkina grossly violated the Procedural Executive Code in ruling against Ivanov. During the trial, an audio recording was provided, which confirmed that the judge falsified her ruling: in the courtroom she read one version of the verdict, and later the human rights activist received a different version of the document. The case should have been returned for a new trial, but Judge Ivanova agreed that the court of first instance was right.
Moreover, after the above-mentioned trials Pyotr Ivanov faced criminal charges, after a statement from the Chairman of Vitsebsk Pershamaiski District Court. A.A. Andrushenka. During the court proceedings Ivanov allegedly insulted a policeman, for which he now faces imprisonment for up to 3 years.
But this was not all. A few days ago Deputy Prosecutor of Vitsebsk region Heorhi Karanko issued an official warning about the inadmissibility of violating the law. Pyotr Ivanov is a citizen of Russia, having a permit to live in Belarus. However, he was warned that in case of further violations of criminal or administrative laws his permit to reside permanently in the Republic of Belarus might be canceled.
"As long as I was not engaged in human rights activities, there were no claims from the Belarusian State to me, as a foreign citizen. But as soon as I started to actively protect the rights and legitimate interests of citizens, I became a "violator" of Belarusian laws," says Pyotr Ivanov.