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Pressurization of Protestant Pastor Continues

2005 2005-10-06T10:00:00+0300 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

Minsk Maskouski Borough Court again judges Vasil Iurevich, pastor of the New Life protestant church. He is charged in organization of unauthorized liturgy. The believers are indignant at the actions of the authorities who don’t let then gather and listen to the pastor’s sermons. The church faces liquidation. Two religious communities have been already liquidated. They are: Calvinists (pastor Lieanid Lipien) and Belarusian Evangelic Church (pastor Ernest Sabila).

On 5 October Vasil Iurevich came to court together with about two dozens of believers. Mr. Iurevich is charged with organization of unauthorized liturgy on 4 October. In fact, this day the believers waited for Mikhail Paulau, chair of Minsk City Executive Committee, at the entrance of their church in order to solve the question of the building.

Judge Natallia Reutskaia interrogated Vasil Iurevich. At the same time, the police officers who composed the report as a result of which the administrative case was initiated didn’t come to the court. In general, it was found that the report was composed by one person at the police board and there are no police reports that registered the violation. Vasil Iurevich is sure it was not the police who initiated the case. He believes they executed the order of the higher officials.

The trial will continue on 7 October. New Life Church believers informed RFE/RL they would complain to procurator’s office against the police actions.

Meanwhile, according to two previous court verdict, Vasil Iurevich has to pay $4 000 fine to the state for people’s liturgical gatherings.

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