Human rights defenders to stand trial for observing protest
Siarhei Kaspiarovich and Natallia Satsunkevich, observers from the Human Rights Center "Viasna" and the Belarusian Helsinki Committee, received today text messages from the Maskoŭski District Court of Minsk inviting them to the hearing of their administrative cases.
The hearings will take place on Monday, 7 December.
The observers were charged under Part 1, Art. 23.34 of the Administrative Code (“violation of the order of holding mass events committed by the participants”) during a peaceful assembly held on November 24. The observers kept apart from the demonstrators. They were marked with special badges and blue jackets, which allowed the police to distinguish them from the participants of the peaceful assembly. However, the police viewed them as protesters and charged with administrative offenses.
Information about illegal harassment of the human rights defenders has been forwarded to a number of UN and OSCE Special Rapporteurs.
The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders has issued a statement in which it strongly condemned the administrative prosecution of Siarhei Kaspiarovich and Natallia Satsunkevich, as well as other persons who were detained during the demonstration.