Human rights activist Siarhei Rusetski appeals against sentence
Siarhei Rusetski, member of the BPF Party and human rights activist from Biaroza, has directed a cassation complaint to Brest oblast court. In his complaint Rusetski asks the court to reverse the verdict of Ala Zialionka, judge of Biaroza district court of 21 May, by which he was issued an official warning for participation in the Candle of Memory action, dated to the anniversary of the Chernobyl accident.
On 26 April 2008, after the action, Rusetski was detained. Though such actions have been held in the city square for six years already, only this time the police qualified the Candle of Memory as a picket. Then they accused Rusetski of having organized the action, because he was giving candles to those who did not have any.
Though the judge gave only a warning to the activist, he does not agree to even such ‘mild’ penalty on the eve of the parliamentary election.
Mr. Rusetski considers the actions of the police and the court absurd, because silent standing with candles cannot be qualified as picket. The accusation, put down in the police report, sounds anecdotic: ‘The violation was manifested in picketing near the building of Biaroza town soviet with lit candles, which was not permitted’ (the town soviet in Biaroza was liquidated more than 10 years ago).