Consideration of Henadz Loika’s complaint postponed by Minsk city court for indefinite period
Consideration of cassation appeals against the decision of the court of the Central district of Minsk on a complaint concerning the actions of "Belinvestbank" and the KGB made by Henadz Loika has been postponed by the judges on civil cases of the Minsk city Court for an indefinite period. Henadz Loika intended to defend in court his right to use his native language, Belarusian, in contracts and filling other bank documents.
Today, Loika said that he does not understand anything of what is being said in the court and demanded an interpreter. Judicial board had to postpone consideration of the complaint and agreed to provide Loika with the interpreter paid by the court.
According to the deputy chairman of the Human Rights Center "Viasna" Valiantsin Stefanovich, during consideration of complaints it became known that a cassation appeal made by the prosecutor of the Central district of Minsk on the decision of judge Alena Siamak from Central district court of 11 April to reject Loika’s lawsuit against "Belinvestbank" has been withdrawn. It should be noted that prosecutors often withdraw appeals when the case becomes known to public.
On 11 April, judge of Central district court of Minsk Alena Siamak rejected the lawsuit of the Belarusian artist and civic activist Henadz Loika against "Belinvestbank", ignoring the arguments of the applicant and his public representative Valiantsin Stefanovich about discriminatory approach of the bank to the Belarusian language. The substance of Henadz Loika claim was that in 2012, he was seeking opportunities to be served in "Belinvestbank” in Belarusian. The bank did not satisfy his wish making reference to "technical reasons", and bank management considered relevant technical adjustments "unreasonable" due to their high costs.
The representative of the bank didn’t admit these claims in the court. The court rejected the appeal citing Art. 17 of the Constitution of the Republic of Belarus in accordance with which the country's state languages are both Belarusian and Russian.
In his appeal, Loika insists that "Belinvestbank" discriminates him on linguistic grounds, refusing to sign a contract in the state language, Belarusian. In addition, Loika requests to bring the judge that reviewed his case to responsibility for her refusal to carry out the process in Belarusian, and to provide Loika with an interpreter