Viasna issues new report on protest-related administrative cases Document
Viasna’s lawyers and analysts have prepared and published a report entitled “Politically Motivated Administrative Proceedings: Standards and Reality in Contemporary Belarus”.
Earlier, the issues of fair justice standards were covered in the reports “Belarus, August 2020: “Justice” for Protesters” and “Administrative Arrest in Belarus in 2020. An Instrument of Human Rights Violations” (Russian only).
The new report summarizes the results of monitoring the administrative proceedings in politically motivated cases for the period from early 2020 to the end of March 2021. The observation was carried out by members and volunteers of the Human Rights Center "Viasna", while analysis of every phase of administrative cases was provided by lawyers and experts.
Reports from 44 observers on 590 administrative hearings in 17 Belarusian courts were analyzed and evaluated, as well as data obtained from more than 600 administrative detainees in 38 cities.
“It was the administrative persecution of protesters and dissidents that became the main instrument of repression. One way or another, more than 30,000 persons went through administrative cases last year. This year, despite the authorities’ hypocritical rhetoric of national reconciliation, law enforcement agencies and courts continue to use the law to arbitrarily restrict and imprison people, which is unacceptable in a democratic society. Recent changes in the law, in particular a severe increase in the responsibility of participants in peaceful assemblies for the exercise of their rights, have made this process even more dramatic,” said Pavel Sapelka, legal expert of the Human Rights Center “Viasna”.
The report pays particular attention to innovations in administrative cases and their impact on the decision-making process, as well as the place of the court in the implementation of repressive policies.
Human rights activists conclude that proceedings in administrative cases, including in courts, are marked by widespread violations of national law, as well as constitutional and internationally recognized standards of a fair trial. Disregard for human rights and their most serious violations have fundamentally undermined trust in law enforcement, as well as trust and respect for the justice system.