2009 30/10

Leanid Marhotka, Salihorsk

Leanid Marhotka, Salihorsk

A number of Salihorsk youth activists are facing several million roubles of fines. The Young Front activist Ilya Shyla has been appealing the sentence in different judicial bodies for over a month and it is most likely that he soon will submit a complaint to the UN Committee on Human Rights.

The representative of Belarusian Helsinki Committee in Salihorsk region Leonid Markhotka expressed his opinion regarding the practice of substituting political arrests by huge fines.

– ‘The fact that the statistics of political arrests in the country in recent years have decreased, is certainly a very positive fact. But the replacements of arrests with fines are simply outrageous. Many young men have to pay the state for their natural rights sums of millions of rubles. I just wonder what the state hopes for, when it fines 16-year-old teenagers for socio-political and cultural events. It is an attempt to redirect their activism to the criminal sphere in search of money to pay off the fines, no more’ – said Mr. Markhotka, recalling the Salihorsk boys.

The human rights activist also drew attention to “Svetsik’s case”:

– The case of the Vitebsk human rights activist Leanid Svetsik does not stand any criticism. The state is turning a person, a human rights activist, into a slave. The authorities are probably trying so brazen way to earn money during the crisis. It’s just a mockery of the Institute of Human Rights. Svetsik’s case calls for solidarity and extreme attention from the society.

As you know, Vitsebsk Regional Court Judge Halina Urbanovich sentenced the activist Leonid Svetsik to a fine of 900 basic units, that is 31,500,000 Belarusian roubles, more than 11 thousand dollars. Also Svetsik is obliged to compensate moral damage of 1 million roubles to head of the Vitebsk office of the pro-government Union of Writers Tamara Krasnova-Husachenka.

Leanid Svetsik was accused of sending lists of threats to Vitsebsk opposition activists on behalf of the neo-Nazi Russian National Unity (RNU) movement – Article 130 of the Criminal Code, fomenting of national and racial hatred. At first, Mr. Svetsik was announced a witness in the case as, and then – the suspect. During the trial, most of the victims said that they did not believe in Svetsik’s guilt. Prosecutor Siarhei Selikhanau required that the human rights activist be sentenced to two years of imprisonment in a general regime colony.

As for Leanid Svetsik himself, he believes he is innocent and even if the fine is paid, he is not going to accept the verdict.

As reported by www.saligorsk.org, Ales Mikhalok;
The material is prepared by Ales Leta,
Belarusian Legal Portal,

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