2016 05/02

At the end of December 2015 the UN Human Rights Council has registered a complaint Viciebsk resident Peter Berlinov.

The circumstances that led to Mr. Berlinov apply to the high international human rights organizations, was the decision of the Railway District Court Judge Elena Tsygankova which has undergone his punishment in the form of administrative arrest for participation in an unauthorized mass event.

A cheerless began this story with curiosity.

Not being a journalist and not a member of any political party or social organization, Berlinov – accidently – took part in a mass street event – flash mob, which is November 5, 2014 in Viciebsk led local independent journalists. A public event was not permitted by the authorities. And because it was not allowed, Police Major Alexander Rybakov of the police department was on Berlinov protocol on administrative violation and transmits the report to the court.

During the trial, the judge Tsygankova not wearied themselves to understand the complicated case and sentenced Berlinov for three days in jail, which he had already served before in a temporary detention facility in Viciebsk. Thus, in its decision the judge closed the illegal detention Berlinov and content of his detention without a court order.

Peter Berlinov, being neither a journalist nor a civil activist, by definition, could not be involved in the organization and holding of public events and express it through their political views. Based on this fact, it is considered that the Court did not consider all the circumstances of his administrative case and reviewed the case is incomplete, biased and not comprehensive. In his deep conviction that the judge was biased Tsygankova as clearly sided with the prosecution and did not find out all the circumstances and facts of the case, did not find objective evidence of his innocence and was not involved in the offense.

Moreover, Mr. Peter considered unfair judgment also, because the rest of the picket (the part in the flashmob was qualified by the court) have been fined, and only he, the only one of the seven members of the same offense had been subjected to administrative detention.

  • “Administrative detention was seen by me as a punishment is not proportional to the act committed. For administrative detention is a punishment which society and the state is regarded as the most punitive, i.e. it is used only in extreme, special cases in administrative proceedings. What have I committed a wrongful authorities to punish me so severely?!” Mr. Berlinov wrote to the HRC.


The Viciebsk resident’s complaint is commented by a human rights activist Leanid Svetik:


Леанід Судаленка, Віцебск

 – Based on the materials of the administrative case, it is indeed an Berlinov’s act can be regarded as participation in a picket. Let it be so. But from the same materials it is obvious that he by his behavior does not violate the rights and damaged the reputation of others. Also, Berlinov does not encroach on protected state security, public order or morals. At least, he does not impute these acts neither the authorities nor the court.

Arbitrary arrest and detention without trial, and court action to attract Berlinov to administrative responsibility in the form of imprisonment and detention of innocent action – a clear violation of fundamental human rights, which are enshrined in the Constitution and other national legislation and in the international treaty obligations of the Republic of Belarus.

The actions of the court of first instance in the case Berlinov is seen a clear violation of human rights to a fair trial by a competent, independent and impartial tribunal. Moreover, it is regrettable that the cassation and supervisory courts ignored all the arguments of Berlinov expressed it in his own defense, and did not find them in rehabilitating the circumstances.

And the main thing. The right of citizens to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly is the most important civil and political rights. State, Belarus voluntarily assumed the international obligation to be a guarantor of Belarusian citizens of these rights.


The facts and circumstances set out in the statement of Peter Berlinov committee considered sufficient to make its complaint for consideration. HRC has registered a complaint under the number 2708/2015 and reported it to the Belarusian authorities.


Now, the authorities are obliged to inform the Committee of their position on the case of Berlinov, arguments to prove to the international community the truth of their actions. If the arguments of the Belarusian state officials are not conclusive and the complaint is granted, the authorities will need to eliminate all violations and to restore the rights of Peter Berlinova and reimburse him material and moral damages in the form of monetary compensation.

Quoting Lyavon Efremenko, Vitebsk Spring and dyjalog.info,
Prepared by Ales LETA,
Belarusian Legal Portal.

Photo by Alaksiej Lapicki, Licviny-INFA

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