Babruisk blogger is threatened with a criminal case

2013 2013-09-09T22:22:44+0300 2013-09-09T22:22:44+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
Babruisk blogger Aleh Zhalnou. Photo by

Babruisk blogger Aleh Zhalnou. Photo by

The monitoring service of the Belarusian Association of Journalists found about an incident that took place on 4 September in Babruisk with the participation of a well-known local blogger Aleh Zhalnou.

He uploaded to his blog audio and video recordings of violations of the traffic rules.

On 4 September Mr. Zhalnou and his son
made a video recording of the wrong parking of cars on the pavement. According to Mr. Zhalnou, the cars belonged to officers of the department of drug control, located in the same building.

The blogger
made an oral statement about this to inspector of the traffic police Aliaksandr Butouski, who also drove on the pavement. The inspector said that his working day was over and called by phone other police officers.

The policement who arrived at the place (Aliaksandr Aliaksandrau, Vital Paduta and Yauhen Serashtanau) tried to prohibit the Zhalnous to shoot the video, and then detained them, charging with a violation of paragraph 35 of the traffic rules (groundless hindrance to the movement of a vehicle).

The both detainees were dragged into the building with the use of physical violence and then knocked down. After this they were handcuffed and searched, after which some things were confiscated, including telephones, a video camera, a smart phone, bank cards, work ID and the passports.

Three hours after it the detainees were released after giving explanations to an investigator. The things were returned the following evening, but he video cassette and the memory card of the smart phone with the events near the office of the traffic police weren't returned.

Mr. Zhalnou says that the road police threatened to imprison him within the framework of a criminal case, for alleged insubordination and infliction of bodily injures to a policeman.

According to Mr. Zhalnou, the detention was so brutal that later an ambulance had to be called. After the release he went to the polyclinic to be examined by a neurologist, who registered an injury of a
saphenous nerve on his right hand. He also passed a forensic examination and submitted applications to the prosecutor and to the Minister of the Interior.

Earlier the blogger twice registered violations committed by officers of law enforcement agencies. They thrice tried to punish him within the framework of administrative cases. The Babruisk court twice ruled in favor of Mr. Zhalnou, and during the third time the policemen refused from their pretensions on their own.