22 January 2018, Monday, 9:07

Russian citizen fined for complaint about Belarusian police


Vitebsk resident Piotr Ivanov has to pay a fine of 4 million rubles.

He earlier applied to the road police department of the Vitebsk region asking to bring to administrative responsibility the police officers, who, as he thinks, violated the traffic rules on February 16, when they were detaining Aliaksei Kishchuk and Stanislau Laurenau, acitivists of the organising committee to found the Belarusian Christian Democracy party. The BCD members were detained in the centre of Vitebsk for raising a “Freedom!” poster.

The road police found the activist's complaint groundless. Under the law, the activist had 10 days to appeal against the decision, but lieutenant colonel Aliaksandr Stiapanau decided not to wait: on April 12, he made a police report against Piotr Ivanov for “defamation” of the police driver, Viasna human rights centre informs.

The first fine of 2 million was issued to the activist, because he, as the road police say, gave false information in his complaint. The second fine of 2 million was issued for disobedience to police officers. Piotr Ivanov didn't admit his guilt in both cases.

He thinks the internal check in the road police was incomplete: eyewitnesses were not questioned and CCTV footage was not examined. Nevertheless, the activist didn't object going to a court, but he was told in the road police department that he would be escorted to the court, because he had been detained. He demanded to confirm this fact with a relative document. It became the reason for accusing him of disobeying police officers. A policeman also kicked him several times in the back.

Piotr Ivanov is a citizen of the Russian Federation. He demanded that the Russian embassy should be informed about the detention. He is not sure if it was done.

The activist wrote to a prosecutor's office and the regional police department complaining about violation of his rights. He plans to appeal against the fines issued to him by Vitebsk's Pershamaiski district court on March 17.