20 March 2019, Wednesday, 17:13
A Challenge for Everyone

Brest Activists: Region's Leadership Lost People's Trust


The authorities facilitate the construction of the scandalous battery plant near Brest.

The Brest Court fined the collectors of signatures under a collective petition to the administration of Lukashenka demanding the resignation of the leaders of the region, city and district, 20 basic units, Brest Viasna informs.

Brest social activists believe that the local authorities lost people's trust because they assist in the construction of the battery plant, which production is harmful to human health, near Brest. About 40 thousand Brest residents have already signed for the termination of construction.

June 24, Dzmitry Biakaliuk collected signatures for the resignation of the leadership of the region, the city and the district on the steps of the Brest Central Market. Public activist Aleh Yarmolenka collected signatures on a nearby street. Soon people in plain clothes appeared and began to record the collection of signatures with their phones. After some time Mikalai Samasiuk, the deputy head of the Leninski district police department, arrived at the market.

As a result, five people were detained and taken to the Leninski district police department: Dzmitry Biakaliuk, Aleh Yarmolenka, who collected signatures, as well as bloggers Siarhei Piatrukhin, Alaiksandr Kabanau, and Dzmitry Andrasiuk. The detainees were interrogated in the district department and released.

On July 6, the Leninski district court of Brest started the examination of the administrative cases of Biakaliuk and Yarmolenka, which the police accused of violating art. 23.34 of the Administrative Code (violation of the procedure for holding mass events). Both social activist made a motion to summon eyewitnesses of the incident, namely police officers Anastasiya Karpik and Marat Kuchynski, who recorded the incident. The figurants also demanded that those videos were added to the case materials and were watched in court. The judge Stanislau Kalina dismissed the request. The trial was adjourned until 11 July.

The people in the overcrowded court room were outraged by the behavior of the judge. Some people wrote complaints against the judge, who, in their opinion, violated the procedural rules, to the chairman of the court and the city prosecutor.

On July 11, the examination of Dzmitry Biakaliuk's complaint continued. This meeting, chaired by Piotr Babroyski, the chairman of the Leninski district court of Brest, was remarkable for a large number of police officers and precise control of the citizens present, who were let to attend the hearing after having their passports checked and their names being entered in the journal. This time the judge granted all the motions, listened to the witnesses and watched the video. However, they were presented in court not in full. Biakaliuk, speaking in court, referred to the explanation of the Parliament on the nature of the collection of signatures, which clearly stated that the collection of signatures is not a violation of the law "on mass events..."

However, in conclusion of the procedural nominations, judge Babrouski announced: "You have committed an administrative violation – a fine of 20 basic units. I do not have to motivate my decision straightly right now...".

Aleh Yarmolenka was also fined 20 basic units.