2013 22/11

Zhodzina court

On 22.11.2013 the representative of the interested party did not appear at the court session to continue the dispute on the complaint of Zhodzina human right defenders Aliaksiei Lapitski and Sviatlana Lapitskaya, concerning the prohibition by Zhodzina Executive Committee a picket of solidarity with political prisoners in Belarus and the chairman of the Human Rights Centre “Viasna” Ales Bialiatski in particular, which was scheduled for 9.30 a.m.

Chairman of the court session Ivan Grynkevich decided to halt the proceeding in connection with the actual refusal of the representative of the interested party, Volha Verhel to continue the process. The applicants haven’t heard the remarks from the Executive Committee, which hasn’t even considered the appeal for picketing in Zhodino of 19.07.2013 and violated the existing law “On mass events”.

At the trial the applicants proved the impossibility of the requirements to add payment agreements to applications for peaceful assemblies. They also fixed and proved perjured witnesses of those officials who have tried to support the version of the interested party when giving testimonies in court.

During the proceeding, in yesterday’s speech at the debate, the applicants specified the requirements of the complaints and expressed the need to bring false witnesses, together with the representative of the executive committee (who has actively influenced the witnesses) to the responsibility under the law of, as well as the officials who, exceeding their official authority, focused and consistently created obstacles in realization of the constitutional right to peaceful assembly and expression. Due to absence of the representative of the Executive Committee at the hearing, without a possibility to continue the process, the court decided, without hearing the arguments of the responsible party, to stop the session. Judge Grynkevich was left alone to make decision in his office with all means of communication … And in the end he made a negative decision on the complaint and did not satisfy any of the requirements of the applicants.

Aliaksei Lapitski believes that Zhodzina Executive Committee has put pressure upon the court

– Absence of the representative of local authorities at the court session after a proper notification (which never happened before), the lack of a full debate and argumentation of V.Verhel (after interviewing witnesses) and the actual termination of this process, as well as a significantly long pause in the “retiring room” before making such a short “solution” (already familiar in such like processes), which is quite contrary to the presented in court factual evidences of the applicants’ position – all this makes us think that it was pressure upon the court.

“Courts in Belarus have never been free to take such substantiated and independent decisions. Therefore, such decisions are usually illegal and require consistent appealing, including the Human Rights Committee of the UN, of course. The fact remains. We must wait for the reasoning part of the decision. We are in for a tedious work … including protocols”, – said the human rights activist.

Attachments (being added):

Complaint to the court on prohibiting picketing of August 4, 2013 in Zhodzina

Ales Volny
Belarusian Legal Portal

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