Yury Rubtsou: “I was actually denied access to justice”
Opposition activist Yury Rubtsou filed on July 22 an appeal to the judicial board on civil cases of the Minsk City Court against a ruling of Minsk’s Maskouski District Court. Yury Rubtsou was serving a sentence of 25 days of arrest in the detention center in Akrestsin Street, where he declared a hunger strike. Despite this, the prison administration charged him 1.65 million rubles for alleged expenses on food. In addition, police officers took his T-shirt reading “Lukashenka, Resign!” and “Arrest me! Why? I am against Lukashenka”. The T-shirt was never returned to the activist, and he was brought to court without a shirt. Yury Rubtsou said that the police officers and the prison administration acted unlawfully, and wrote about it in a complaint filed in the Court of Maskouski district. However, the court said the complaint was not within its jurisdiction and refused to consider it.
Yury Rubtsou disagrees with the court’s ruling and believes that he was actually denied access to justice. In his complaint to the Minsk City Court, the activist notes that Article 60 of the Constitution enshrines the right of every citizen to judicial protection of his rights and freedoms. The Civil Procedure Code establishes that no denial of judicial protection based on the absence, incompleteness, inconsistencies, ambiguities of regulation is allowed, and the court is obliged to adjudicate on the basis of the Constitution and other legal acts adopted in accordance with it.
“The court refused to open a case with reference to the internal regulations of special agencies of internal affairs performing administrative penalty in the form of administrative detention, which, as the Court argued, establish a different procedure for challenging the actions of the police. However, these rules do not provide for and do not establish a procedure for appealing against police actions that infringe the rights of administratively arrested persons. I believe that the court’s refusal to institute a civil case with reference to the lack of jurisdiction is not based on constitutional provisions on the right of every citizen to judicial protection of their rights and freedoms, as well as the provisions of the Civil Procedure Code,” stresses the applicant.
He asks the Minsk City Court to cancel the decision of the Maskouski District Court and to forward the case for a new trial in the same court, but by another judge.