Opposition activist Zmitser Dashkevich’s trial scheduled for January 30
The trial of prominent opposition activist Zmitser Dashkevich, who is accused of violating the terms of “preventive police supervision,” will take place in the Pershamayski District Court in Minsk on January 30.
As the co-chairperson of an opposition youth organization called Malady Front (Young Front) told BelaPAN, he does not plan to attend the trial. “I believe that it is criminals who work at our courts, who have repeatedly fabricated cases. I don’t consider it necessary to prove anything to them as it is senseless. I don’t feel guilty,” he said.
The 32-year-old former political prisoner failed to present himself at the Pershamayski district police station in Minsk on December 19. He has to report to the station on the first, third and fourth Thursday of each month.
Mr. Dashkevich did not report to the station because he had simply forgotten that December 19 was the third Thursday of the month. He visited the station the following day and learned that the police had drawn up a charge sheet against him for his absence.
People are normally spared punishment for failing to report to a police station on an appointed date for the first time. However, a police officer told Mr. Dashkevich that he had been ordered by his superiors to charge him.
On August 28, Mr. Dashkevich was released from a prison in Hrodna after spending two years and eight months behind bars.
He was arrested in Minsk on December 18, 2010, on the eve of a scheduled large-scale post-election demonstration, for allegedly beating up two passers-by.
Speaking during his trial, Mr. Dashkevich said that the incident was a provocation orchestrated by authorities and accused the two alleged victims of giving false testimony.
On March 24, 2011, he was sentenced to two years in a minimum-security correctional institution on a charge of "especially malicious hooliganism."
Mr. Dashkevich was repeatedly placed in disciplinary confinement and transferred to other prisons for allegedly violating prison rules. As a result of two trials, he had his prison term extended, and ended up in the cell-type prison in Hrodna.