20 January 2018, Saturday, 16:03

Uladzimir Lemesh: Police would not release me even after the trial


The activist of the European Belarus civic campaign, fined by the court of Minsk’s Pervomayskiy district, told about the circumstances of his arrest.

According to the young man, on 14 January he had several important meetings planned about an exhibition of the letters of political prisoners. The first meeting was supposed to be held at 4 p.m. at Academija Navuk metor station, the human rights center Viasna reports.

- People in mufti ran to me in the underpass, waved their certificates in my face and started pushing me. They ignored my demand to introduce themselves and provide a closer look at their documents and also to state the reason for my detention, - Uladzimir Lemesh told. – I started calling passersby for help. Some metro official came running. Then the people in mufti went calmer, showed their documents to this person and told me they would explain everything at a police station.

The young man was deprived of the mobile phone and taken to the Pervomayskiy police station in a blue bus. It appeared at the police station that the people in mufti were special police officers. Allegdly they were carrying out operational search activities and the detained European Belarus’ activist look very much like some criminal.

- At the police station no one checked my looking alike the criminal. They accused me of “waving my arms” and insubordination to policemen. It was all done very cynically. They composed a fake protocol and put me in a cell for the night. The cell was 4 square meters big with no windows and a concrete bench, - Uladzimir Lemesh describes his stay at the Pervomayskiy police station.

In the morning the guy was taken to the court of the Pervomayskiy district. The court’s proceedings were held in a small office. The only witness was the special police officer who detained the young man the day before.

- The judge suggested me to acknowledge the guilt in order to ease the punishment. I did not acknowledge the guilt, my detention was absolutely illegal and obviously connected with my civic and political activities. In the end I was fined to 3 million roubles, although the policemen promise to put me in prison for 15 days, - the European Belarus’ activist says.

According to the young man, such a verdict was unexpected for the policemen who were present. Although the court’s proceedings were over, the policemen would not release the guy out of the court’s building for 15 more minutes. Only after having consulted the higher authorities they released Uladzimir Lemesh.

The young man has ten days to appeal, however he has not yet finally decided whether it is worth to waste time on that as he considers the result to known in advance. The activist is sure that in the given case the court will not take his side.