Small businessmen have addressed the human rights organization “Amnesty International” with an appeal to recognize Andrei Kim a prisoner of conscience. The BelaPAN has been informed about that by one of the leaders of the small businessmen’s movement Ihar Lednik.
As said by him, on February 26 an address was sent to the central office of Amnesty International in London, and to its Moscow branch. It is written there that A. Kim had been charged with a criminal offence under Article 364 of the Criminal Code of Belarus (violence or a threat of violence against a policeman).
“According the version of the investigation, on January 21, 2008 during a protest rally of small businessmen Andrei Kim used violence against a policeman. Operational footage of secret services became the basis of the evidence. According to the practice of closed trials in Belarus he could be sentenced to up to 6 years of imprisonment,” the letter reads.
“The real cause of criminal prosecution of Andrei Kim was raising in front of the parliament and government a white-red-white flag forbidden by the authorities. It was done on January 10, 2008 during one of the protest rallies. The arrest and criminal prosecution of Andrei Kim is directly connected with this action of Andrei Kim,” small businessmen believe.
“We urge to estimate legality of criminal prosecution against Andrei Kim in line with the UN Declaration on basic principles of justice for victims of crimes and abuse of power, and declare him a prisoner of conscience. Your qualified evaluation can prevent illegal ruling of the court against Andrei Kim,” the address reads.
“Our letter is the first request. Later we are to submit files of A. Kim’s case, as Amnesty International is very thorough in all questions on recognition a person a prisoner of conscience,” I. Lednik stressed.
As we informed, A. Kim was detained for participation in a protest rally of market vendors on January 21 in Minsk. On January 31 he was to be released after a 10-day administrative arrest, but he wasn’t released. A criminal action was brought up against him for violation of Article 364 of the Criminal Code.