2008 23/03

_dzv_02.jpgThe unprecedented trial that is about to commence in Zhodzina is likely to turn into an ambiguous and highly complicated venture. A number of local human rights activists lodged a claim against several plainclothes policemen, who disturbed public order and violated the rights of Zhodzina residents during the celebration of the 90th anniversary of the Belarusian People’s Republic on 23 March, 2008. The victims include journalist Dzianis Borykau and the BPF’s local office leaders Sviatlana and Aliaksei Lapitskis.

The policemen are said to have attacked the participants of the action and seized their photo and video cameras. Apart from that, they disturbed public order by a series of coordinated unlawful actions.

The claim also states a number of facts of lawless inaction of uniformed policemen, who ignored appeals to counteract the violent actions in the streets of Zhodzina. It also says that the plainclothes policemen attempted to start a fight that might result in a criminal prosecution of Aliaksei Lapitski, human rights activist and local BPF leader.

As a result, the video shot by the police became the base of the verdict by Tatsiana Tratsiuk, judge of Zhodzina town court, who sentenced the participants of the action to 7 days of imprisonment each.

The petitioners demanded that the video be used as evidence in the case. There are also numerous photographs that picture the lawless actions by the police.

The claim names one of the assaulters – head of the local Criminal Office Aliaksandr Haiduk, who was identified by the activists. It also mentions one of the uniformed policemen Volkau.

The claimants say they intend to monitor the situation and expect an adequate reaction by a competent authority.

Ales Volny,


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