2009 24/09
Leanid Sudalenka

Leanid Sudalenka

Even if to assume that the authority watches over their opponents 24 hours a day, as it is asserted by the police, and knows about our intentions long before the alleged events, still no one was exempted from enforcing the law. At least in the Basic Law of our country it is written in black and white that the state and all its bodies and officials act within the Constitution and legislative acts passed in accordance with it (Article 7).

The arguments by which the authorities are trying to justify the recent arbitrary detention of more than 15 Gomel opponents can not stand up to any criticism. “On 16 September, 2009 at 16.45 a man was moving within the group of 15 people on the pavements of Paleskaya Street in Gomel. Thereby he violated the order of mass event, i.e., committed an offense under art.23.34 (3) of the Administrative Code of the Republic of Belarus” (the excerpt from administrative reports).

A group of people walking down the street to the bus stop was accused by the government in an unauthorized meeting. Now police has a virtually impossible task: to convince the court about the true purposes of people walking down the street! Who can say for each of us about what we are planning, or what we are thinking about while walking down the street, especially, if our behavior does not attract the attention of other people around, i.e. we expressed publicly nothing? That’s right, only each of us!

In this case, the authority decided everything for all its opponents. It pre-guessed their plans and intentions, and without any justification made arbitrary and therefore unlawful detention, by accusing each of them in the commission of offense. By the way, the responsibility for produced offence is quite serious, namely, either up to BYR 1, 750, 000 fine or arrest up to 15 days.

So, if 16 reports drawn up on members of opposition in Gomel reach the court, police officers arresting them will need to tell lies, i.e. give false evidence in court, what in our country can lead to a criminal liability by the way.

Sixteen citizens of the Republic of Belarus, even if they are non-supporters of the current government will give in the court the unambiguous detailed testimony about the event. What will the people in uniform who made the reports undertake in this situation? I think they will give false evidence to convince the court in the true purposes of people walking down the street! At least, they have already started to lie. One of the detainees on the Peramoga street was accused by the police of walking along with other people on the Paleskaya street. The others were accused of walking down the street with the portrait of disappeared politician.

I’m not going to predict what will be the ruling of the court. So is the time now.

And we should show solidarity and make the open court as much as possible in public in order the court would not have written in its ruling the following. “The court considers the testimony of sixteen witnesses critical, as the data to avoid responsibility for theirs acts, while the testimony of a police major A. are consistent and logical to establish a violation.”

P.S. According to the Human Rights Center “Viasna” the city authorities in Minsk also prevented the opposition to hold a solidarity action in honor of disappeared politicians. Citizens standing with the portraits were dispersed by the police, however, the latter did not dare to lie, i.e., to draw up reports.

Human rights activist Leanid Sudalenka (Gomel),

Prepared by Ales Leta,
Belarusian Legal Portal

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