New Criminal Case against Levanewskis and Vasilyews

2004 2004-07-22T10:00:00+0300 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

According to RFE/RL

On 21 July Hrodna Leninski Borough Prosecutor’s Office initiated a criminal case upon article 342 of the Criminal Code against Valery Levanewski, his son Uladzimir and Aliaksandr and Natallia Vasilyews. All of them are charged with organization of the unauthorized meeting on 1 May and gross violations of public order. It is the second criminal case brought against them. The first was for public insult to president.

Upon article 342 one can be punished with up to three years of jail. In the statement of the major investigator of the prosecutor’s office Alfred Tankevich it is said that Mrs. Levanewski and Vasilyew produced and distributed many fly-sheets with urges to come to the unauthorized meeting that was held on 1 May with active participation of Natallia Vasilyeva and Uladzimir Levanewski.

-- The public order was grossly violated and the traffic along Satsyialistychnaya Street was paralyzed. Participants of the unauthorized evidently disobeyed to representatives of power structures, -- reads the statement.

-- No the authorities consider as illegal the meeting of 1 May, to which citizens were invited. Most probably, the accusation will be built on the statement that the authorities declared closing of the meeting at certain moment, -- points out Aliaksandr Vasilyew. – Then it appears that since that moment they can punish everyone for holding of unauthorized meeting.

Vasilyew believes that the new criminal case was initiated against Levanewski and him because the previous one, for insult to president, proved to be fruitless. The accused still haven’t been told which words exactly are considered to be insulting for president Lukashenka. It is quite indicative that the criminal case was brought on the 10th anniversary of Luashenka’s rule, after the yesterday’s conference where he assured that everything is not so bad with liberty of speech in Belarus.

We should also remind, that Hrodna was the only city to hold a meeting with political demands on 1 May – people insisted on Lukashenka’s retirement from the position he occupied.

Today Hrodna Leninski Borough Court turned down the petition of Levanewski’s advocate to change the restraint to the accused, which means that Levanewski will be kept in the investigative ward of Hrodna at least till 15 August.