2010 25/03
Валянцін Стэфановіч, Менск

Valancin Stefanovich, Мiеnsk

During the court session on administrative cases according to the article 23.34 of Administrative Offences Code “Disturbance of public meetings” human rights defenders from HR centre “Viasna” used amendments which were made to the Administrative code in the end of 2009 and started working after their publishing. But few people know about them, even judges. As a result human rights defenders were booked a minimum penalty – 0,5 of basic amount (17,5 thousand BYR)

So when it comes to the situation of disturbance of public meetings, when there’s a danger of arrest for realizing one’s right for public meetings, before going to the meeting it’s better to read the content of these amendments and recall it at a possible arrest.

According to item 6 of article 6.5 of Administrative code “Penalty”, if you admit guilt and agree administrative non-punitive measures be applied to you, court must penalize you by a minimum penalty described in the correspondent article of Administrative code in amount not less than 0,5 of basic amount.

Let’s explain by the example:
According to item 1 of article 23.34 of Administrative code the4 sanction is caution or penalty in amount up to 30 base amounts or administrative arrest.

You admit guilt and ask court to apply to you item 6 of article 6.5 of Administrative code. Minimum penalty isn’t described in this article (there is no “from”, only “up to 30 base amounts”) so the general minimum penalty is 0,5 of base amounts.

“The other thing is when you are accused not of disturbance of public meetings but of, for example, disorderly conduct but you are not guilty. You can also be penalized only for 2 base amounts, because it’s the lowest penalty amount according to the article 17.1 of Administrative code, but only if you admit guilt that you coarsed or disturbed the public peace some other way. Here everybody has to choose – a minimum penalty or 15 day-arrest for the truth. The article mentioned above foresees not only penalty from 2 to 30 base amounts but also an administrative arrest”, – explained Valiantsin Stefanovich, the lawyer of Human Rights Centre “Viasna”.

Quoting spring96.org,
Prepared by Ales Leta
Belarusian Legal Portal

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