19 May 2019, Sunday, 16:55
For our and your freedom!

Brest HR Defender Fined For ‘Turning Public Attention To Problem’ Of Plant


Uladzimir Vialichkin’s reply to the camera of blogger Siarhei Piatrukhin at the end of December 2018 was considered “violation of the law”.

The trials of human rights activist Uladzimir Vialichkin and social activist Vital Kazak, detained on February 16 in Brest, started after lunch on February 18 in the court of the Leninski district of the city, Brestskaya Gazeta reports.

As Vialichkin said before the beginning of the court session, he was charged with attracting the attention of citizens on December 30, 2018, that is, a month and a half ago. The human rights activist was summoned to the district police department on February 16 and detained there before the trial.

“When I was studying the materials of the case, I saw some linguistic expertise there. It gave an assessment to what I said. I answered the question of blogger Piatrukhin, and they reckoned this as pointing the attention of the ciutizens to the problem,” Vialichkin said.

As for Vital Kazak, he was charged with “the organization of an illegal mass event in a place not set for this with the involvement of a citizen of a foreign state in holding this event.”

As a result, both were found guilty under article 23.34 “Violation of the order of organizing or holding mass events” of the Code of Administrative Offenses and fined: Uladzimir Vialichkin for 15 base fees (BYN 382.5 ), Vital Kazak for a repeated administrative offense during the year for 40 base fees(BYN 1 020).

Important to note, in Brest on February 10, traditional Sunday feeding of pigeons was held in protest against the construction of a battery plant near the city. For the first time in a year of protest after feeding the pigeons, people did not go home, but went through the streets of Pushkinskaya and Savetskaya to the Belarus Cinema, where they listened to a street musician for some time, and then, at their request, he switched on the protest movement hymn “Live”. Last Sunday there were no detentions.

Exactly a week later, on February 17, the feeding of pigeons in protest against the battery plant again ended with a march around the city again. According to the people, during their march there was not a single street musician in the city.

Since the beginning of 2018, a campaign has unfolded in Brest against the appearance of the iPower battery plant in the FEZ “Brest”. For more than a year, the initiative group of Brest residents and residents of the region, as well as its supporters, constantly talk about numerous violations at different stages of the project. Representatives of the plant, environmental organizations and officials insist that the fears are in vain and there are no violations.

Starting from March 4 of last year, every Sunday, opponents of the plant go to Lenin Square to feed pigeons and thereby express their silent protest against the construction of a battery plant in the FEZ “Brest”. Only once did the authorities allow them to gather and protest - a rally of “Brest women against lead” was held on April 29 in the park of soldiers-internationalists and gathered about 2,000 people. Subsequently, numerous requests for holding rallies and pickets against the plant were turned down.

The launch of a full production battery factory was initially scheduled for August 2018, then postponed till the end of the year. According to the latest data, a trial launch of production lines at the iPower plant under construction will be carried out presumably from February 21 to 28. According to official information, the capacity of the enterprise at the initial stage will be 1 million batteries per year, and will subsequently be doubled. However, the initiative group states that the equipment, which was brought to the enterprise, will allow producing up to 6 million batteries per year.