Vitsebsk court dismisses libel case against Aliaksandr Kirylau

2013 2013-12-16T13:01:21+0300 2013-12-16T13:01:21+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

Before it happened, the defendant was taken to mental hospital and a police officer “persuaded him not to complain” about the doctors of Salihorsk speleotherapy center.

Judge Alena Tsyhankova of Vitsebsk’s Chyhunachny District Court dismissed an administrative case against Aliaksandr Kirylau, having failed to find the elements of an offense provided for in Article 9.2 of the Administrative Code. The man was accused of slandering the staff of the speleotherapy hospital in Salihorsk, where Aliaksandr Kirylau was receiving treatment this September.

He complained about the violation of internal discipline, writing in the book of complaints and suggestions that the medical staff were playing cards with the patients at night. The same was reported to the "hot line" of the Ministry of Health Care.

The Ministry was expected to investigate the complaint. However, the chief doctor of the hospital told Aliaksandr Kirylau to write about the facts he had noticed in a written statement, and in the meantime he called the police. The latter first reproached the patient, and then beat Aliaksandr Kirylau. Then the doctors ordered to take him for a psychiatric examination, but no deviations were found.

No one apologized for these actions, even though he only demanded respect for him as a patient. Moreover, there appeared four employees of the hospital, who said Kirylau slandered them by writing in the book of complaints and suggestions. Incidentally, the complaint did not mention a single name, and the position of “offended" doctors remained unclear to the court: as no specific individuals were named no libel can be found, said the judge.

As a result she dismissed the case. However, Aliaksandr Kirylau’s friends believe that in this situation it was him who suffered most. In the beginning, Judge Alena Tsyhankova announced the trial "closed" for journalists and human rights defenders. As for the events leading up to the trial, Aliaksandr Kirylau himself can sue to protect his violated rights: only for the fact that he commented in a specifically designed book of complaints and suggestions and on a special "hot line", he had to give explanations to the police, which resulted in injuries. And then he was handcuffed and taken to another health care facility to undergo forced psychiatric examination.