Minsk court fines film director for resisting arrest
On December 20, the Court of Minsk’s Maskouski district considered the administrative charges brought against film director Volha Mikalaichyk, who was accused of disobeying police officers.
Activist Nina Bahinskaya displayed a white-red-white flag in Nezalezhnastsi Square in memory of the events of the 2010 post-election protest. This action was filmed by Volha Mikalaichyk.
When the riot police were detaining Nina Bahinskaya, Volha Mikalaichyk tried to defend her. As a result, the activist was released, while Volha herself was detained.
Volha Mikalaichyk was taken to the Maskouski district police department to await trial the following morning.
The trial was scheduled for 10 a.m. in the court of the Maskouski district, but was later put off till 2 p.m., according to Volha Mikalaichyk’s counsel. The case was heard by Judge Tatsiana Motyl.
Later it became known that the hearing was adjourned after the offense report was reportedly lost. As a result, the police officers had to write a new one, which featured many inconsistencies. According to Ms. Mikalaichyk’s counsel, these flaws were stressed during the trial.
The report argued that Volha Mikalaichyk “publicly expressed her own social and political interest by waving a white-red flag without the permission of the Minsk City Executive Committee, which violated the order of picketing”.
Witnesses representing the police did not appear in court. Despite this, Judge Tatsiana Motyl ruled to sentence Volha Mikalaichyk to a fine of 2 mln rubles.
Ms. Mikalaichyk says she will appeal against the decision.
Volha Mikalaichyk is a documentary filmmaker, author of the famous movie “Torture in Belarus” and “Journey to Endless War”. Her films about Belarusian political prisoners were repeatedly shown at international festivals.