2009 22/07

Today, the regional court pronounced a judgment in the case of five opposition leaders accused of organizing mass actions under the walls of the Homel regional department of internal affairs. Accused oppositionists did not come to the court hearing in protest against judicial tyranny.

A judge of the regional court, Mr. Zmitser Uloha, held a meeting in the absence of the defendants. At the hearing there were only journalists and human rights defenders. On 25 July the trial judge, Ms. Marya Damnenka, found that the participants of the protest dedicated to the memory day of the disappeared Belarusian Minister of Internal Affairs, Mr. Yury Zakharanka, are guilty in violating the rules of mass events. At that time she did not allow the presence before the hearing of the human rights defender, Mr. Leanid Sudalenka, and witnesses. Four of five participants were awarded a penalty of 350 thousand of BYR, and Uladzimir Katsora was punished with administrative arrest for 3 days.

On 7 May members of the coordinating council of the united democratic forces of Homel were standing for about an hour with portraits of the disappeared Minister of Internal Affairs, Mr. Yury Zakharanka, near the walls of the police building. Then they filed an appeal in this agency with a call to find quickly the criminals and to complete the criminal investigation of the disappearance.

Proceeding materials of an administrative case contain a ruling of the Supreme Court on 24 March 2003 on identical case. Then it was recognized that “the actions of citizens, holding portraits of missing people, can not be attributed to the picketing, since there is no composition imputed to the offense.”

In a disagreement with the decision of first instance Uladzimir Katsora declared a hunger strike. The hunger strike was joined by 6 representatives of the democratic forces of Homel region.

- We have ignored the meeting of the Regional Court in protest, we do not believe in the Soviet justice, – commented convicted Vasil Palyakou. – During the strike, we asked the judges to appoint a hearing as soon as possible because it was a risk for a human life then. The court ignored this fact.

Now opposition leaders prepare a complaint to the Supreme Court of the Republic of Belarus.

According to odsgomel.org

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