Hrodna: court “wall” seems impenetrable
Hrodna Regional Court considered the appeal of the human rights defenders Viktar Sazonau, Uladzimir Khilmanovich and Raman Yurhel against the verdict of the Leninski District Court of Hrodna concerning the refusal of the Hrodna City Executive Committee to hold a picket in support of Ales Bialiatski on 4 August. On 23 September the Leninski District Court Judge Zhana Krauchanka, ignoring clear violations on the part of the authorities, ruled that the city executive committee didn't violate the law by its ban on the mass event. The human rights activists disagree with this verdict and seek the justice.
The panel of judges of the regional court spent much time considering various appeals on other civil cases, and started considering the appeal of the human rights defenders in the end, when no people who had no relation to the case were left in the court room. The college board of the court, headed by Judge Liudmila Maliuchok find the ruling of the district court in force.
The situation is commented by Uladzimir Khilmanovich: "The current judges are quite legally intelligent and educated people. They are well aware that the law is on our side, and there exists an absurd situation in which citizens cannot exercise their constitutional rights, that the officials of the executive committee commit violations of applicable laws and discriminate against our rights. However, because of the political considerations of the higher authorities, the judicial “wall” remains impenetrable."