2016 03/06


Połack trade union activists have filed a complaint to Viciebsk court on a prejudiced decision of Połack judges Julija Kałasoŭskaja and Vital Łapko. The processing on the complaints will be held on June 15 in Viciebsk.
Trade union leaders are asking Viciebsk court to call off the fines (5 million and 6 million Belarusian rubles) and to stop the case for lack of offense.

• According to the workers of the Free Trade Union, Połack judges have examined the case of the trade union picket one-sided and prejudiced. The picket took place on April 28 on the International Day of Remembrance the industrial accidents victims.

Judge Kałasoŭskaja did not examine the arguments of the defense. In her decision she argued that the chairman of the trade union mr. Stukaŭ asked the court to disregard the norms of national legislation.

- This is absurd because it was said that the court cannot appeal only to provisions of the Belarusian internal law as justification for non-compliance of international agreements. These are generally recognized principles of international law. This means that courts in the Republic of Belarus are obliged to be guided by a complete set of legal norms of the Belarusian legislation, taking into account the priority of legal norms of international treaties, as it is written in the administrative law.

Pejudiced treatment of judge Łapko is obvious from a following record from the trial – “Arguments of Mikałaj Šarach about violation of his right to defense are groundless. When mr. Šarach was reading the procedural documents, which was confirmed by his signature, there were no requests for the participation of the defense. He also didn’t apply for it during the proceedings”.

Quoting the complaint of Mikałaj Šarach: “Witness of militia officers Skarabahataŭ and Bahumirski about my refusing legal assistance are not reliable, and the court could easily verify it, if satisfied my petition for listening the record from the militia department’s office, where the survey has been conducted. Skarabahataŭ refused giving me the defense, he also argued that legal assistance was only given in criminal cases”.

• Not providing the defense is not only a violation of the domestic law of the Republic of Belarus but also of the international treaty, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Therefore, if Viciebsk court doesn’t cancel these fines of trade union activists on June 15, the complaints against the Government of Belarus will be directed to the Human Rights Committee of the United Nations in Geneva.

The militia officers openly lied in the court, but the judge Łapko took their word for it and did not pay attention to the testimonies of defense witnesses.

“Witness of militia officers Skarabahataŭ and Bahumirski about the fact that they have shown their documents before they arrested me, as well as witness of ms. Laskova (the one who saw the arrest) are not only contrary to my statements, but also to the testimony of Laskova, who confirmed in writing that about my detention by militia officers she learned later, not at the moment of the arrest. Witness Skarabahataŭ, however, stated that he has shown her his ID, when she left the apartment”(!?) – Said Mikałaj Šarach.

At the session of the ILO, which runs just at this time, from May 30 to June 10 in Geneva, this case and the similar facts of administrative persecution of trade union activists in Belarus also will be considered and taken into account.

Viktar Stukaŭ,
Chairman of the Trade Union of Zavadski district,
specially for Prava-By.INFO
June 3, 2016

Prepared by Ales LETA,
Belarusian Legal Portal
www.prava-by.info

Photo: Alaksiej Łapicki, Lićviny-INFA

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