Hrodna Regional Court turns down appeals by civil society activists
On December 16, in the Hrodna Regional Court heard the appeals lodged by local civil society activist Volha Krapotsina and human rights defender and journalist Uladzimir Khilmanovich.
Volha Krapotsina’s appeal was heard by Judge A. Kozel. This lasted for about three minutes, after which the judge upheld the decision of the Leninski District Court. Ms. Krapotsina was detained on September 19 when distributing leaflets in support of Ukraine, and on November 18 Judge Dzmitry Bubenchyk of the Leninski District Court fined her 4.5 mln rubles on charges of “illegal manufacture and distribution of printed materials”.
An appeal against the decision of Judge Alena Piatrova, who fined Uladzimir Khilmanovich 5.25 mln rubles on charges of participating in an unsanctioned rally in Svislach on October 26, was heard by Judge Mikalai Rachynski. In his appeal, Mr. Khilmanovich argued that there was no evidence that he had committed an administrative offense. Moreover, all the witnesses confirmed that there was no disturbance of public order. In fact, Uladzimir Khilmanovich was sentenced to a large fine only because of the fact of his presence on that day in Svislach. However, after listening to Khilmanovich, the judge did not take into account any arguments and dismissed the complaint. It was Judge Mikalai Rachynski who convicted Mikalai Autukhovich in July 2006.