Activists from Mikaševičy fined for distributing leaflets about political prisoners
According to a decision of the administrative commission of the Mikaševičy city executive committee, Vital Kalinouski, member of the Belarusian Social Democratic Party (Hramada), has been punished by a fine of three basic units.
The administrative charges stemmed from an offense allegedly committed on May 26 when the activist was distributing leaflets with photos of political prisoners. The event was expected to attract public attention to the trial of political prisoner Yury Rubtsou, which was underway at the time in Pružany.
Vital Kalinouski was detained by police and brought to the police department where he faced charges under Part 2, Article 21.14 of the Code of Administrative Offences, as well as under paragraph 17 of Council of Ministers’ decision of 28.12.2012 (pasting leaflets without permission).
At first, it was announced that the case would be considered by a court, but in the end Vital Kalinouski was summoned to a meeting of the administrative commission, where he tried to prove that his actions did not constitute an offense, referring to the Constitution and international standards relating to the guarantees of freedom of expression and dissemination information. According to the activist, after hearing these arguments, some members of the commission proposed to issue the minimum punishment (1 basic unit), but the commission chairman insisted that the penalty was more severe.