Activist in Salihorsk appeals runaround in police raid abuse
Uladzimir Lemesh, activist of the European Belarus opposition movement in the town of Salihorsk, has filed an appeal in the Minsk Regional Prosecutor’s Office to challenge an earlier decision of the District Prosecutor’s Office on a search carried out in his apartment back in September 2014.
According to the activist, the Salihorsk prosecuting authority failed to conduct a comprehensive and unbiased examination of his complaint. He also stresses that no measures have been taken to restore his rights.
“The response I received completely ignored the fact of unreasonable seizure of my things. Police officers can only seize things that are relevant in the case. Thus, archival leaflets, copies of the subscription forms for presidential candidate Sannikau, Bialiatski’s book and a white-red-white flag were groundlessly seized from me, but the Prosecutor’s Office of Salihorsk district failed to give a legal assessment to this fact,” says Uladzimir Lemesh.
In addition, the Prosecutor’s Office has ignored the activist’s complaint about the fact that an unknown man in civilian clothes was present during the raid; he refused to show his ID, but was looking through Lemesh’s papers.
“The identity of this man has not been established, as well as the fact on what grounds and in what capacity he participated in the investigation. Neither the witnesses nor police officer Aliakhnovich, who said that the man was a police officer, were not interviewed by the Prosecutor’s Office of Salihorsk district,” says Uladzimir Lemesh. “Also, the prosecuting authorities failed to give any explanation of a connection, even if indirect, between me, my apartment and activities which police officers said had signs of an offense – vandalism. As you know, the reason for a search is sufficient evidence to believe that it help find traces of the crime or materials relevant to the case.”
Thus, the complaint was replied to with a runaround letter. As a result of the lack of a complete, objective and comprehensive examination of the complaint, the prosecuting authorities arrived at the wrong conclusion that there were individual violations of the law that were not grave enough to cause significant harm to the legitimate rights and interests of Uladzimir Lemesh.
The young man says such conclusions are untrue and asks the Prosecutor’s Office of Minsk region to initiate an unbiased probe into the incident.