Salihorsk District Court upholds the ban on a Human Rights Day picket
On February 4 the Salihorsk District Court considered the appeal of the socio-political activist Uladzimir Shyla against the nban on his picket, issued by the Salihorsk District Executive Committee.
Mr. Shyla wanted to hold a picket to mark the Human Rights Day. The case was considered by Judge Ala Tramichuk with the assistance of Assistant Prosecutor of the Salihorsk district Yuliya Harshkova. As usual, the executive committee was represented by lawyer Aliaksei Strapko.
According to human rights defender Leanid Markhotka, who monitored the trial, yet before the beginning of the hearing he and Mr. Shyla were approached by the court secretary Alena Valatkouskaya, who threatened to fine them 8 basic units for leaving their mobile phones turned on, talking or making noise.
“Maybe something has changed in the legislation recently, but I have never heard about the cases when a court secretary would take over the functions of the judge already in the corridor and issue accusatory verdicts to the people who could change their mind and decide not come in the court room at all,” commented the human rights activist.
During the court hearing Uladzimir Shyla maintained his appeal, asking to abolish the ban on the picket and appoint a new date and place for it. The representative of the executive committee spoke against it and finally voiced the reason for the ban (which was not done in the formal response received by Mr. Shyla). The alleged reason was that the activist asked to put the responsibility for guarding the event, rendering medical aid to its participants and cleaning the territory after its end on the local authorities.
Having listened to the plaintiff, the representative of the executive committee and the assistant prosecutor who stated that the appeal was to be dismissed the court declared the appeal groundless.
After receiving the declarative part of the verdict Mr. Shyla intends to consult human rights defenders with the aim to appeal the verdict at higher courts.