Hrodna human rights defenders continue struggling for their constitutional rights
human rights defenders Uladzimir Khilmanovich, Raman Yurhel and
Viktar Sazonau filed an appeal against a verdict of the Leninski
District Court of Hrodna to the Hrodna Regional Court. On 23
September Judge of the Leninski District Court of Hrodna Zhana
Krauchanka considered their appeal against the decision of the Hrodna
City Executive Committee to prohibit the picket in support of the
political prisoner Ales Bialiatski on 4 August and upheld the actions
of the authorities.
The human rights activists disagree with the verdict of the court, as they believe that their constitutional rights were clearly violated and the executive committee also violated the law "On mass events in the Republic of Belarus" by sending its response too late. At the trial, a representative of the legal department of the Hrodna City Executive Committee didn't manage to answer the question who and when had taken the decision to ban the picket. However, during the trial the judge and the prosecutor ignored all arguments of the applicants.
In addition, the human rights activists believe that Judge Zhana Krauchanka, rejecting the request to put down their words in the minutes of the trial in the Belarusian language, violated the procedural rules. In fact, she empowered the court secretary to translate the testimonies of the participants of the trial, to which she had no right.
The human rights defenders hoped that as a result of the consideration of their appeal the court will at least determined the theoretical way to implement all requirements of the legislation and receive a permission to hold the picket. However, it didn't happen.
Viktar Sazonau, Uladzimir Khilmanovich and Raman Yurhel are still convinced that the city executive committee was guided solely by political reason, and therefore took an unlawful decision to ban the picket.