Opposition activist in Mahiliou sends complaints to prosecutor over PC seizure
Deputy Chairman of the Belarusian Social Democratic Party and journalist Ihar Barysau has sent a complaint to the prosecutor about the seizure of computers that were taken by the police on March 12.
Ihar Barysau’s wife Alena Barysava notes that during the examination of their apartment there were a lot of violations.
First of all, police officers came with their witnesses and did not allow to call other witnesses which were not interested in the outcome of the case, failed to explain the individual status of Ihar Barysau, he was denied a right to be assisted by a legal representative, legal inspector of the independent trade union Aliaksei Yauhenau was not allowed to enter the room during the search.
Alena Barysava also notes that there was a violation of the principle of proportionality in the conduct of the search. There were six police officers, while the property owners were only two. After the inspection, the activists were not given any copies of documents. Police officers also prohibited to copy the prosecutor's sanction to inspect the premises and copy of the inspection record.
On March 12, the apartment of Ihar Barysau was visited by several policemen. They came with an order of the Mahiliou Prosecutor Vulvach to inspect the premises as part of a probe under Art. 188 Part 2 of the Criminal Code, "slander". The reason for the visit was one of the publications on the website of the newspaper "NASH Mahiliou ", which, according to SEO of the Stuzhka Joint Stock Company, Siarhei Piatrou, featured slanderous information against him and made him write a statement to the police.
Ihar Barysau argues that he has nothing to do with this publication - the article was not signed with his name and it did not mention the journalist as someone who gives a comment about Siarhei Piatrou.
The activists says the sudden visit of police is linked to the upcoming presidential election campaign and plans of law enforcement and intelligence agencies to prevent the conduct of election campaigning, and the organization of an independent election monitoring.
At the moment, Ihar Barysau is not facing any criminal charges, but the probe is still underway.