Court dismisses Tonkacheva's appeal against deportation from Belarus

2015 2015-02-20T14:38:46+0300 2015-02-20T14:38:46+0300 en

The human rights defender must leave Belarus on February 21.

On February 19, the board on civil cases of the Minsk city court dismissed the appeal of human rights defender Yelena Tonkacheva against her deportation from Belarus.

It was the last stage of the appeal process, during which Tonkacheva could stay in the country. She must leave Belarus by February 21, BelaPAN reports.

On November 5, 2014, the police department of Minsk's Pershamaiski district ordered Tonkacheva to leave Belarus within a month and banned her from entering the country for the nearest three years. The reason was that the car that belongs to her committed a minor speeding offence that was caught on a road safety camera.

The human rights defender appealed against the court decision. The procedures provides for a suspension of the deportation order for three months – each month is given for appealing in each court of appeal.

On December 12, Tonkacheva's appeal was dismissed by the main police department of Minsk. This decision was upheld by the Pershamaiski district court of Minsk on January 13.

Russian citizen Yelena Tonkacheva has been living in Belarus for about 30 years. For 20 years Tonkacheva and her Center for Legal Transformation Lawtrend provide professional legal and expert assistance to non-profit institutions of Belarus, as well as aid in situations when human rights are violated.

Activists collected 7,000 signatures against the deportation of Tonkacheva. Representatives of civil society say the actions by the authorities are a disproportionate and politically motivated sanction caused by the professional activities of the human rights activist.