Mahiliou: Siarhei Niahatsin fined 3 mln rubles for "Tut i Tsiaper" newspaper
On 11 April an activist of the Belarusian Popular
Front Siarhei Niahatsin received a telephone call from the police, who proposed
him to come to the police department and take back the newspapers which had
been confiscated from him about a month ago, while he had been distributing
them at a market.
However, when he came there, the policemen drew up a violation report against him. The alleged reason was that the information in the newspaper imprint allegedly didn't meet the reality. Then the activist was immediately taken to the Leninski District Court of Mahiliou.
"Judge Ratnikava started considering my case. I immediately solicited for postponing the trial, as far as it was a complete surprise for me and I had no time to prepare to defense. Moreover, the working hours were already over and human rights Barys Bukhel wasn't allowed to attend the trial. Judge granted the solicitation and postponed the trial to 10.30 a.m. on 12 April," said Siarhei Niahatsin.
On 12 April Judge Ratnikava levied the activist with a fine of 3 mln rubles (about $370), stating that Niahatsin needed to have a special agreement with the editorial office of the newspaper for distributing it.
"This is the first time I face with such a verdict, when one needs to conclude a special agreement for distributing a self-made newspaper or leaflet. How can one distribute materials during electoral campaigns then?", asks the activist.
Mr. Niahatsin disagrees with the verdict and is going to appeal it to higher courts.