Court in Homel sentences opposition activist to 5 days in jail
The Tsentralny District Court of Homel considered yesterday an administrative case against activist Kanstantsin Zhukouski, who was detained by riot police on August 25. As a result, Judge Volha Kazlova convicted the activist of disobeying police officers (Article 23.4 of the Administrative Code) and sentenced him to an administrative arrest of five days. At the request of Kanstantsin Zhukouski, the trail was attended by an interpreter, teacher of one of the city schools, after the detainee demanded that the charges were heard in the Belarusian language.
At the trial, Kanstantsin Zhukouski said that he was not guilty of the offense. He was detained outside his private house and taken to the police department, despite the fact that it was he who had called the police. The conflict started after the activist could not get into his own house, as the road was blocked by several trucks that belonged to a construction site located nearby. After he saw that there was no driver in the truck, the activist was forced to call the police. Meanwhile, his wife, Alena Zhukouskaya, said she heard a representative of the developer (JSC “Center-Leasing”) tell a truck driver: “When this little scoundrel comes, you know what to do”. According to the activist, the construction is accompanied with numerous violations, and he has repeatedly written complaints against Center-Leasing. Therefore, says Kanstantsin Zhukouski, they decided to revenge themselves with the help of the police, so that he did not prevent them from breaking the law. “There is a corruption component,” said the activist.
Interestingly, when Kanstantsin Zhukouski called traffic police, then there appeared riot police, who detained the activist and brought him to the police station. He had to spend the following night in the detention center. The trial was postponed until August 28, as the detainee demanded a lawyer and a Belarusian interpreter.
Riot policemen argued in court that Kanstantsin Zhukouski failed to provide his ID and failed to follow them to a police car, and even “tried to escape”.
The video, which was presented in court as evidence, shows that the activist’s passport was taken by a traffic policeman. He took the passport and did not want to give it back, aggressively demanding to get into a police car. After refusing to do so, riot policemen detained Kanstantsin Zhukouski.
“The court’s decision was predictable, because the guards had been called even before the case materials were examined and the lawyer had a chance to speak. This whole thing is revenge on the part of the developer, so that I did not stop them, so they taught me a lesson,” said the activist.