2011 27/12

On December 26 Kastrychnitsky district court of Vitebsk closed the administrative case against the activist, on whom a protocol was drawn up after the white-red-white flag appeared on the store “The Fifth Element”.

But the situation of Siarhey Kavalenka didn’t substantially improve after this: he is still in custody, the investigations on the criminal case under article 415 “Evasion of punishment” is still in process.

Since the summer of 2010, Siarhey Kavalenka has been serving a so-called “home chemistry” – a suspended sentence, given for hanging a white-red-white flag on a Christmas tree. He is accused of breaking the serve of the sentence and on this occasion a criminal proceeding was initiated. If convicted, the Vitebsk activist faces up to three years in prison.

Infringement of the order means returning home after a certain time, as well as several administrative cases initiated against Kavalenka during his probation. So, on 24 March the activist was punished by an administrative detention for the trick with the white-red-white flag. And during this month in various courts of Vitebsk processes initiated against Kavalenka are taking place.

One of these cases was stopped by the judge Ina Hrabouskaya. She did not see compelling evidence that the flag above the shop “The Fifth Element” was picked up exactly by Siarhey Kavalenka. Militia substantiated the accusation by the fact that a video appeared on the Internet, which shows how Siarhey Kavalenka cuted a long wooden stick, and then a man of an unrecognizable appearance hanged up the flag. The court did not take such evidence of the activist’s guilt.

The activist’s wife Alena Kavalenka said that much depends on the outcome of another case initiated by the members of the inspection of Corrections:

“They say that Siarhey Kavalenka insulted them obscenely. But in court testimony of witnesses and prosecutors differed – no one could even state for sure what swear words Siarhey used! Meanwhile, the officials of the inspection treat Siarhey Kavalenka negatively: one woman inspector even insulted Siarhey because he spoke Belarusian language. My husband filed a complaint on her to the regional prosecutor’s office. But there is no answer, like to a number of other complaints; there are only formal replies that the complaints were directed to the militia, to the direct management of these employees”.

While Siarhey Kavalenka is kept in jail, the family is deprived of their livelihoods. The Kavalenkas have two children: a son, schoolboy, and a daughter, who is only six months old. Siarhey Kavalenka’s wife is on child care leave. The arrested activist worked as an entrepreneur and supported his family.

Quoting Radio Svaboda,
Prepared by Ales LETA,
Belarusian Legal Portal,

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