Khotsimsk Prosecutor’s Office: Detention of candidate legal
Last week, civil society activist Valery Karankevich received a response from the Khotsimsk District Prosecutor’s Office to his complaint against local police department officials who did not allow him to attend the counting of votes at polling station No. 3.
Valery Karankevich asked the Prosecutor to check the circumstances of his detention without charges by Khotsimsk police officers at the polling station and bring the perpetrators to justice.
In response to the complaint, District Prosecutor I. Savastseyeu told the former candidate that “the actions of the employees of Khotsimsk police department are legitimate and do not contradict the current legislation”.
The Prosecutor also said that “on the basis of the above, there are no reasons to take measures of prosecutor’s response to your statement, in connection with which your complaint is not subject to satisfaction”.
“This response from the Prosecutor’s Office of Khotsimsk district is utmost cynicism,” says former candidate Valery Karankevich. “What was the need for police officers to detain me at the polling station on the eve of the counting of votes, even if there was some sort of statement? Am I a malicious criminal who was going to run somewhere? The answer from the district prosecutor says that an alternative candidate can be on doubtful grounds detained anywhere and anytime. Why then talk about some equal rights at elections and why have these elections at all when a candidate can be legally deprived of opportunities to be present at the counting of votes. I will definitely appeal against the response from the Prosecutor of Khotsimsk district,” says Valery Karankevich.
Local human rights defender Barys Bukhel believes that Khotsimsk police officers had no right to detain Valery Karankevich.
“Suspicion of defamation does not require immediate detention, especially at 8 p.m. right at the polling station,” said Barys Bukhel. “It is not hooliganism, theft or other illegal actions that require immediate termination. The police officers could have just served a summons if they considered it necessary. It is also unclear why Khotsimsk police are not investigating this statement against the candidate, it is not known whether they are continuing administrative proceedings or they have already been closed, since there is no need in them.”
At about 8 p.m. on March 23, candidate for the Mahiliou Regional Council of Deputies in Khotsimsk constituency No. 54 and candidate for the District Council of Khotsimsk Valery Karankevich was detained by the police department at polling station No. 3 in Khotsimsk. The candidate for deputy was taken to the police station, where he was held for about 40 minutes without charges and then released. The police officers said the detention was caused by an urgent statement against Karankevich by a member of the district election commission of constituency No. 54 Mikalai Tamashou. Because of the illegal detention Valery Karankevich could not observe the counting of ballots.
Valery Karankevich is a member of the BPF Party, he also collaborates with Tell the Truth movement.
“Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections”