20 May 2019, Monday, 21:06
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Siarhei Piatrukhin’s Sentence United Society

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SIARHEI PIATRUKHIN

The authorities create problems by ignoring public opinion.

A fine of more than 9 thousand rubles and another 8 thousand as the compensation for moral harm and court costs. Aliaksandr Semianchuk, a judge of Leninski district of Brest, has passed such a sentence in the case of well-known blogger Siarhei Piatrukhin: he was found guilty of insulting and slandering police officers. The blogger has to pay the sum of almost 8 thousand dollars in equivalent within a month, his property is under arrest, and Piatrukhin is under the written pledge not to leave country, Belsat reports.

This sentence did not leave the public indifferent. Yury Hubarevich, the chairman of the For Freedom movement, called it the next ugly attack on freedom of speech.

Here is the opinion of a member of the For Freedom movement Viktar Yanchurevich:

“Just a shame! Having created problems by ignoring public opinion, the authorities are returning to their proven methods of intimidation. But the world is changing, and it's no longer possible to stop the citizens outraged by the stupid politics using repressive methods.”

However, the main thing is that Piatrukhin is free. Yes, the fine and payments are expected to be huge, but this is “the price of freedom in Belarus you pay to the bald.” So activist Katsia Belaya wrote on her page.

“Piatrukhin is being tried in the Leninski district court of Brest. The lawsuit was filed by employees of the Leninski district police department of Brest. In short, only Leninists are protecting the “justice and legality”” – the activist Aliaksandr Kabanau, the blogger's associate, adds.

But the guys are fighting for the normal life for children of the police officers, who arrested them, and children of the judges, who sentenced them, so that the chemical industry would not poison them, user car2010 says on the tut.by forum.

“There are really courageous people in our country! Big respect. The real changes will start when people refuse to pay fines and go to jail for it; and when the money are collected not to pay fines to the state – as a tax to the racketeer – but to help families who are waiting for their breadwinners from jails,” – the user Ales Bely commented under the article of the Nasha Niva news outlet.

Piatrukhin's journalistic story was based on the statements of people who accused police officers of beating, – the Chairman of the Belarusian Association of Journalists Andrei Bastunets says. – One of these people filed a criminal complaint against the police officer who had beaten him, but the complaint has not yet been considered so far. If the final point hasn't yet been put there, then how could Piatrukhin be judged for “insult” and “slander”?

Ales Bialiatski, the chairman of the HRC Viasna, says the following:

“It became clear that it's a frame-up case. It showed how sick the courts and the police are, how much they are tied to each other, and how they cover each other.”

Sirhei Piatrukhin also commented on the case:

“This prosecutor was almost a kid! Really… because normal people would not go for it. They just sent the guy and gave him to read the case. My lawyers brought him arguments, and quite a lot, and then the judge asked him: do you have something to say or add? He said – no. I asked him if he had a special education, whether he was a lawyer or not. And today, when he was leaving the courtroom, I said that he was an incompetent prosecutor. And I said: “Is that a negative assessment or an insult? Will you file a lawsuit against me? ” And he left...”