Minsk: court sides with Belarusian TV

2012 2012-02-01T18:35:08+0300 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en https://spring96.org/files/images/sources/bt.jpg The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

On 1 February 1 Anastasiya Rahacheuskaya, judge of the Pershamaiski District Court of Minsk, issued a verdict on the lawsuit of a resident of Homel, activist of the Movement "For Freedom" Aliaksandr Pratsko. He filed an appeal against the Belarusian State TV and Radio Company as a representative of his daughter who is currently serving a prison term.

Halina Pratsko was detained by police in August 2010 as a suspect in trafficking. Though she wasn’t an accused in the case, she was shown in the TV program "Zone X» as a person engaged in criminal business, which is a violation of the presumption of innocence towards Halina, insulting her honor and dignity.

During his speech at court a representative of the Belarusian State TV and Radio Company said that the video hadn’t been shown by its journalists, that’s why they couldn’t be held responsible for it. Though Mr. Pratsko showed the video of that program as evidence, it had no influence on the court – the appeal was turned down.

“I disagree with the court verdict. We are waiting for the declarative part of the verdict and will appeal it at the Minsk City Court,” he said.

In November 2011 the Homel City Court turned down the lawsuit of Halina Pratsko for exaction of a compensation for moral and material hard from the Homel pre-trial prison #1. She argued that she had acquired a number of illnesses during the year she had to spend there (that’s how long the investigation into her case lasted). Among these illnesses there are Raynaud's disease, diseases of internal organs and nervous system, skin and head lice. According to the prisoner, no medical aid was rendered to her, that’s why she acquired so many diseases.

At first the woman was sentenced to 7 years of imprisonment for trafficking. As a result of many complaints the court changed the charges to “involvement of people into prostitution” and changed the penalty to two years in prison. However, even the annulment of the initial accusation didn’t help Aliaksandr Pratsko in getting a compensation for the insult of honor and dignity from the Belarusian State TV and Radio Company, in whose program it was stated that the woman was a human trafficker.