Mahiliou: repressed for Belarusian language applies to court

2011 2011-12-06T17:43:42+0300 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

Andrei Padaliak from Mahiliou, fined allegedly for swearing, says the real reason for the trial was speaking Belarusian.

He filed an appeal to the Mahiliou Region Court on 5 December, BelaPAN reports.

Padaliak says he was standing at a bus stop in the evening of 16 November talking to his wife on his cell phone in Belarusian. “That was the reason why policemen detained me. They later jeered at me when I refused to undergo fingerprinting,” Padolski wrote in the appeal.

On 24 November Stanislau Shandarovich, a judge of the Leninski district court of Mahiliou, fined Padaliak 525,000 rubles for violating article 17.1 of the Code of Administrative Offenses. The young man was accused of being drunk and swearing in public. Police say he was shouting, which attracted attention of passers-by, and did not react to remarks.

Andrei Padaliak says the judge did not take into account that evidence by policemen differ from a police report on an administrative offense.

“Witnesses said I began to shout and swear after policemen had approached me. But the police report reads I was swearing and that’s why police officers came to me,” Padaliak says.

According to him, the judge ignored the fact that policemen tried to fingerprint him forcefully, jeered at him, beat and put his head into a toilet bowl.

Padaliak is convinced the judge tries to hide hatred of police officers to the Belarusian language. In fact, policemen equated speaking in Belarusian to swearing, he thinks.

The man demands to overturn the verdict of the Leninski district court of Mahiliou.