Astravets District Court predictably sides with officials
On January 16, Astravets District Court continued to hear a complaint by civil society activist Mikalai Ulasevich against the actions of local executive committee, who did not allow him to hold a picket on December 7 last year to demand “justice for corrupt officials”. As a result, the court dismissed the activist's complaint.
“No surprises. An hour after the trial resumed, after a brief debate of the parties a pre-designed decision was announced. It is, as I had expected, in favor of the defendant. The complaint was rejected on the grounds that I failed to sign agreements for the protection of public order and the protection of health during the mass event with the district police department and the relevant medical institution, as well as for the clean-up of the place with local utilities. Neither at the trial itself, nor in the decision was it said on the basis of what legal act such agreements are mandatory for applicants. During the trial, Judge Aliaksandr Ratkevich showed a clear bias in the proceedings: when I asked the above question to the defendant, he unreasonably disallowed it. In my opinion, the court's decision is unlawful and unfounded. The progress of the trial suggests that my legal position was completely ignored – it turns out that I was allegedly silent during the proceedings, just like a “youth at the interrogation”. I will surely see the court records and write my comments and will appeal this decision,” says Mr. Ulasevich.