Prison not over for Mikalai Autukhovich

2014 2014-08-20T15:52:04+0300 2014-08-20T15:52:04+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
Mikalai Autukhovich. Photo by

Mikalai Autukhovich. Photo by

Vaukavysk District Prosecutor says there are no violations in the police-steered travel ban for former political prisoner Mikalai Autukhovich, who asked to leave his home town to be treated in Minsk. In this regard, Autukhovich prepared a complaint to the Prosecutor of the Hrodna region.

In response to a complaint against the police department of Vaukavysk district, Prosecutor Henadz Blahun said: “a person who is under preventive supervision is not prohibited to change residence. This procedure is carried out through the notification mode. As for travels outside the district for personal matters, including for treatment, then it requires the consent of internal affairs bodies. Belarusian legislation does not contain provisions which oblige the interior authority to authorize such a travel if there is any reason. From this it follows that consent to such a leave is a right, not an obligation of the internal affairs bodies.”

In his complaint, Mikalai Autukhovich said that he viewed the ban unreasonable and a violation of his rights under both the law on internal affairs agencies, and healthcare legislation.

When appealing against the prosecutor’s answer, he insists that the grounds for refusal to travel outside of the city can only be grounded arguments that the travel is made for illegal purposes or in order to make it impossible or difficult to monitor his behavior, crime prevention and the provision of a necessary preventive effect. “In order to give legal assessment of the actions of employees of Vaukavysk police department, it should also be borne in mind that immediately after this failure I was allowed to travel to Minsk for temporary residence without specifying the purpose of departure. This means that in itself my trip to Minsk would not endanger the legitimate interests of the state and society,” said the former political prisoner in a complaint to the Prosecutor of the Hrodna region. Autukhovich emphasizes at the same time that the findings by the District Prosecutor on the validity of the actions of the police department of Vaukavysk were made without taking into account the arguments set forth in his complaint. “The Prosecutor came to the erroneous conclusion that, as permission to travel outside the city limits is the right of law-enforcement body, it can use it at their own discretion, arbitrarily,” he says, requiring a probe and the prosecutor's intervention.

A decision of the Leninski District Court of Hrodna subjected Mikalai Autukhovich to a preventive supervision for a period of one year and four months and a number of associated limitations. He can travel outside the city or district on business and personal matters only with the agreement of the Interior officials.