2009 09/11
Мікалай Гаўрыленка, Лельчыцы

Мікalai Haurylenka, Lelchycy

Belarusian court fined the human rights activist Leanid Svetsik 30 million Belarusian rubles (about 12 thousand dollars). The sentence was imposed for that he had supposedly sent to various residents of the city of Vitsebsk threatening letters on behalf of the unregistered organization “Russian National Unity”. But every conscientious person in Vitsebsk, familiar with the substance of the issue will tell you that Mr. Svetsik could not do so, only because he provided legal assistance to all people who received such letters by mail.

After the announcement of the sentence to the human rights activist, it became too clear that Leanid Svetsik would be unable to pay fantastic by any standards fine. This circumstance makes it a real threat to the transformation of an innocent man and his family to homeless people, because the only property for sale which will bring the desired amount is the apartment.

The work of a human rights defender is voluntary and brought no money to Svetsik. It turns out that a person is punished for charity. He was charged only for being an active citizen in our country, a man with a capital letter (as they say) and calling himself a “human rights defender”. And a completely innocent person is given a heavy fine, so that he could not get out of this difficult life situation. Or maybe just make the person, God forbid, to commit suicide? In our country there are living examples when human rights activists often cannot be employed, exerting a psychological pressure on him and his family to absurdity.

I personally wish Mr. Leanid Svetsik wisdom and self-control, I hope that the horrible “dark day” dies soon and life will be filled with warmth and peace.

Mikalai Haurylenka,


Belarusian Legal Portal,


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