Brest Regional Court dismisses the appeal on Vital Koush's case

2014 2014-01-13T12:59:16+0300 2014-01-13T12:59:16+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
Vital Koush

Vital Koush

January 10 the verdict against a resident of Brest region Vital Koush, sentenced to four years imprisonment with confiscation of property for organizing illegal migration, came into force.

V. Koush was accused that he, in collusion with another person, organized the illegal migration of eight Indian nationals from Russia to Belarus in May 2012. Later an illegal crossing of the Belarusian-Polish border by rope was allegedly organized for them. The Indians were detained and held for quite a long time in teh detention center of the Brest Frontier Group. After their deportation to India, the Indian citizens uploaded a video appeal on the Internet, where they stated that during their stay in the detention center they were forced to make false testimonies against a person whom did not know (Vital Koush).

In March 2013 Brest District Court found Mr. Koush guilty and sentenced him to 4 years in prison. The verdict was appealed by the defendant and reversed by Brest Regional Court, which sent the case file for a new trial. Later, Brest District Court confirmed the previous verdict.

According to human rights activist Raman Kisliak, there's no evidence of guilt of Mr. Koush. The court refused to summon to the trial the Indian citizens as witnesses. Thus, according to the human rights activist, Mr. Koush is persecuted for his public activities, as he has taken part in a number of political campaigns in Brest, was detained during a rally of solidarity with political prisoners and participated in the presidential elections of 2010 as an observer.