Mahiliou democrat appeals against a fine for distribution of leaflets
On 7 November the leader of the Mahiliou regional coalition of democratic forces Yury Novikau filed an appeal against the ruling of the Leninski District Court of Mahiliou for 29 October 2013 to the Mahiliou Regional Court.
The activist appeals against a fine of 5,850,000 rubles, imposed on him by Judge Volkava for distributing leaflets "No to military bases on the Belarusian land" in Leninskaya Street in Mahiliou in the evening of 8 September.
That day Mahiliou democrats collected signatures against Russian military bases on the Belarusian territory. After the event was over, the police decided to detain one of the participants. During his detention, Yury Novikau was seized eight leaflets and a form with signatures, which was signed by seven residents of Mahiliou.
The activist asks the Mahiliou Regional Court to reverse the ruling of the Leninski District Court of Mahiliou and drop the administrative proceeding against him. He also demands to issue private remarks to Jduge Volkava for issuing a knowingly unjust verdict, as well as to the Leninski District Police Department, who committed the violations. The activist also asks the court to oblige the head of the police department to intruct his subordinates about the inadmissibility of violations of civil rights.
In addition, he asks the Mahiliou Regional Executive Committee to oblige the police department to provide the police with copies of the Constitution, the Laws "On the Media" and other laws necessary for the performance of their duties.
Human rights activist Barys Bukhel considers the court verdict as politically motivated, as it was issued with gross violations of the existing Belarusian legislation and therefore is subject to cancellation.
“Yury Novikau didn't hand out any printed matter which could be attributed to the media. Flyers, as well as forms for the collection of signatures, are not covered by the Law "On the Media". I found at least eight distinctive features in the legislation that distinguish the media from usual leaflets. All this was set out in the complaint filed by Mr. Novikau to the regional court," says the human rights activist.