Former political prisoner Andrei Haidukou sentenced to 10 days in jail
On November 25, Judge Uladzimir Biasetski of the Polatsk City Court found former political prisoner Andrei Haidukou guilty of violating Article 23.34 of the Administrative Code and sentenced him to 10 days of arrest for “holding an unauthorized picket with the distribution of leaflets”.
The incident, which was considered by the court, took place in Polatsk on November 24, when police officers detained Andrei Haidukou, as he was handing out leaflets about political prisoners. Together with the activist, police detained Anton Paulau, who photographed the action. Both were taken to the police station and forced to delete the pictures. Andrei Haidukou was charged with an administrative offense and immediately received a summons for November 27. However, yesterday he received another summons, saying that the trial was going to take place on the same day.
“In court, I said that I needed a counsel, and that I had a contract with a lawyer in Minsk. But he was simply unable to come to Polatsk so quickly. Judge Uladzimir Biasetski refused to wait: he said that he gave me half an hour, so that I signed a contract with a lawyer in Polatsk. I had to do it, and I believe that my right to defense in court was violated: the first trial was scheduled for a later date, then it was moved, and in fact I was not allowed to invite the counsel whom I could trust,” said Andrei Haidukou.
The activist is awaiting another trial – over the detention on November 21. He was detained in Navapolatsk – also for distributing leaflets about political prisoners. Local police charged him with illegal distribution of printed materials.
“I did not sign the report, I do not have a copy, so I cannot say of what they accuse me. I heard a police officer say on the phone that my case would be heard by an administrative commission. But I do not have any summons yet – neither to the meeting of the commission nor to the court,” says Andrei Haidukou.
Andrei Haidukou is a former political prisoner. He was arrested by the KGB on November 8, 2012 and charged under Part 1, Art. 356 of the Criminal Code (high treason in the form of intelligence activities). Andrei Haidukou’s case was heard in a closed trial, and the charges were changed during the trial. On July 1, 2013, the Vitsebsk Regional Court convicted the activist on criminal charges of “trying to establish cooperation with the special services, security agencies or authorities of a foreign state”. He was found guilty of “trying to establish contacts with employees of a foreign intelligence services with no signs of high treason”. Andrei Haidukou was released on May 8, 2014.