Yury Rubtsou: «May be, they want to isolate me»
February 9 Yury Rubtsou was summoned to the Pruzhany District Department of the Investigative Committee. The investigator compiled a document that the prisoner refused to give explanations.
Mr. Rubtsou, in his turn, says he was not given any papers for studying, but was asked about his having allegedly insulted the head of the brigade.
"Apparently, someone at the top does not like that people can still communicate with me, and may want to isolate me. They wrote that I had allegedly insulted the head of the brigade. If directly telling someone that he is a villain is the case, then I did so, as the head of the brigade promised to issue me with the necessary documents, but still has not done so. Then I told him: “I don't want to talk to you, villain” at all!” And now they start criminal proceedings for this one word,” reported Yury Rubtsou to a correspondent of Radio “Liberty” on return from the interrogation.
He insists he hasn't been presented any documents by the Investigative Committee. "Think yourself: a man promises to do something and doesn't do it. I asked to be presented the document which establishes my rights and obligations. He promised to present it to me, but hasn't done it. I asked him in presence of other prisoners whether he believed Lukashenka that we have an average wage of $600. He answered he believed. Then I asked him to find me such a job. He also gave me the verdict of the head of the Minsk City Court to read. I asked him to make a copy, but he still hasn't done it. How else can one call such a man?”
Yury Rubtsou also said he hadn't been given the complaint book as he was a prisoner. "However, being a prisoner doesn't mean that someone is deprived of all rights. I am deprived of freedom of movement, but not of all rights. However, I am not presented the complaint book under the pretext that I am a prisoner. They dislike my behavior and want to isolate me from the outside world. Thanks to me, people started feeling freer and understand that they also have a human dignity. Now they started to refuse cleaning the police office, and they don't like it. They say the office has been cleaned by prisoners for 30 years and it will continue being so. That's where their dissent stems from, as I've broken the whole system of humiliation, built by them. They don't understand that work is not one's duty, but one's right. According to their instruction I allegedly have no right to refuse from the job to which I am directed. However, I am not obliged to sign the labour contract and the employer cannot employ me without it.
The Constitution guarantees the right to work, not the obligation, but here they replace right with obligation. There is a collision in the legislation and I demand that it be changed, whereas they reply with formal come-offs, that all this corresponds to the law.”
Yury Rubtsou also said that he has been issued with two warnings for alleged refusals from work.
“I refused not from work, but from a low wage for work. They want to transform it in the evasion of serving the sentence. This is a pure nonsense, and I cannot understand this logic. I haven't been deprived from the constitutional right to work. This is a right, not a duty, and these two are not the same. But they cannot understand it.”
In October 2014, Judge Natallia Vaitsiakhovich of the Tsentralny District Court of Minsk punished Yury Rubtsou with 18 months of personal restraint for insulting Judge Kiryl Palulekh. The latter judged the activist after the “Chernobyl Rally” at the end of April 2014. At the rally, Mr. Rubtsou was wearing a T-shirt with the inscription “Lukashenka, resign!”. He was detained by the police and taken to the court stripped to the waist, without T-shirt. When Kiryl Palulekh agreed to judge Yury, the latter called him a “villain”. Minsk City Court turned down the cassational appeal, filed by the defendant.
Human Rights Centre “Viasna” and Belarusian Helsinki Committee insist that punishing Mr. Rubtsou with a term in an open correctional facility gives all reasons to regard him as a political prisoner.