Biaroza activists challenge court verdict regarding picket ban
Biaroza human rights activists have filed an appeal to the Brest Regional Court against a verdict of the Biaroza District Court, which had upheld the prohibition of a picket on March 25 by the local authorities.
The reason for the ban of the mass event, which was found valid by the trial court, was the demand to release political prisoners. Biaroza officials regarded it is “fomentation of national enmity and calls to extremism” and Judge Natallia Minchanka supported their views.
Human rights activists believe that their words were ignored at the trial, as far as the evidence and written explanations, provided by the Biaroza District Executive Committee allegedly convinced the judge that the picket organizers supported the crimes, committed by the aforementioned prisoners, by the demands to release them. As argued by the lawyer of the Biaroza DEC Yauhen Kashtalian (and agreed by the prosecutor and the judge), upon their release these people could return to their old ways, having such supporters.
According to human rights, officials of the Biaroza District Executive Committee have reached the point of absurd in their prohibitions of pickets. They find the allegations of extremism, calls to war, violence, social and national tension suitable to ban any mass event. Biaroza officials haven't authorized a single action of democratic activists over the past 18 years.