17 January 2018, Wednesday, 8:08

Independent newspaper distributor accused of libel

Valery Usik, an activist from the Byalynichy district, has been accused of distributing an independent newspaper and alleged libel.

He talked to charter97.org about the incident.

“I served two terms as a member of the Byalynichy district council. I had four times as many votes as pro-governmental candidates had. They never liked me because I tell the truth. I have been on pension for five years. I am a freelance correspondent and distributor of Mogilevsky Vybor newspaper. Publisher Barys Vyrvich can confirm my words,” the activist says.

He stressed that the newspaper was registered, so one doesn't need to be a postman or have a certificate to distribute the newspaper.

“I wrote an article about lawlessness in Lebedyanka agricultural production cooperative under the protection of chairman Pyotr Byalou. I gave details of stealing and illegal selling diesel fuel, illegal producing and selling alcoholic beverages, forgery and corruption. I was accused of spreading libel against the cooperative's chairman.

District police officer Syarhei Karytkin visited me at home and drew two reports on administrative offences – spreading libel and illegal distribution of a printed publication,” Valery Usik says.

The activists plans to file a complaint about police's actions to the prosecutor's office.

“I will defend my rights. I will consult with human rights activists and file a complaint about police's illegal actions to the prosecutor's office. I did not violate the law, so it has no sense to scare me or press on me,” Usik said.