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Vitebsk Human Rights Defenders Not Allowed to Observe Trials Court heads explain the ?#152;closed’ trials by the fact that judges’ embarrassment.

2004 2004-03-30T10:00:00+0300 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

The NGOs Assembly press service reported, on 22 March Belarusian human rights activists would observe trials on administrative cases in courts all over the country. Special attention is given to administrative cases because courts often violate the procedure when hearing this type of cases.
In violation of Art 299 of the Code of Administrative Offences (which says such trials must be open to everybody) judges of Pershamaiski and Kastrychnitski borough courts of Vitebsk did not allow human rights activists to be present in the courtrooms. Head of Pershamaiski court Mr. Biassmertny explained that ?#152;judges are embarrassed by the presence of observers’.
Vitebsk coordinator of the national program of administrative trials monitoring Mikhal Pawlaw believes judges’ shyness is not the real reason. ?#152;This is a natural desire to conceal the peculiarities of such trials: judges want to hide their poor and incompetent work. And the head of court helps them to do that’, -- says Mr. Pawlaw.
Vitebsk human rights activists applied to prosecutor’s office and described the violations they have found during the monitoring.
At present the activists have monitored over 300 trials in the framework of the program. The program should result in concrete proposals to improve the work of courts in this sphere.

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