Artists Drazdou and Pushkin apply to the UN
On 2 September 2012 the artists Henadz
Drazdou, Ales Pushkin, Ales Tsyrkunou and Valiantsin Varanishcha, as
well as the public activist Uladzimir Shulzhytski walked along the
streets of Smarhon with portrats of an activist of the anti-Soviet
resistance movement Rastsislau Lapitski. They were detained by the
police and charged with participation in an unauthorized mass event.
Later Mr. Pushkin was sentenced to ten days of arrest for allegedly disobeying police. The other detainees were fined: Drazdou and Shulzhytski – 3 million rubles, and Varanishcha – 1 million rubles.
In their appeal to the UN Human Rights Committee Henadz Drazdou and Ales Pushkin accuse the Republic of Belarus of language discrimination.
During the detention Ales Pushkin demanded that the police officer repeated the order to come to the police station in the Belarusian language. The latter ignored his demand, in response to which Mr. Pushkin ignored his order. For this he was sentenced to arrest.
The Hrodna Regional Court and its head answered the appeals, filed by Drazdou and Pushkin, in the Russian language, which the artist considers as a fact of discrimination.
Drazdou also considers as discrimination the fact that he wasn't provided with an interpreter when the violation report was composed at the police station, though he wrote this demand in the violation report.
Mr. Pushkin considers as discrimination the fact that his sentence was spoken in the Belarusian language and the ruling of the Smarhon District Court was also composed in Russian, though at the trial he used the services of an interpreter.
The artists consider the sentences for walking in the city with their paintings and their exhibition in the city park as a violation of freedom of expression by the Republic of Belarus.
Both artists filed appeals against this, by their claims were declared unfounded.