20 July 2019, Saturday, 17:42
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Russian Living In Belarus For 26 Years Challenges Expulsion Decision In Court

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VLADIMIR TRAUTER (CENTER)

Legal assistance is provided by Leanid Sudalenka.

The court of the Buda-Kashaliova district of the Homel region held a preliminary hearing on the civil case of 38-year-old Vladimir Trauter, Homel Spring writes.

He is a citizen of Russia, but has been living in Belarus for 26 years in the village of Hubichy, Buda-Kashaliova district. Trauter is married, has a minor son, a permanent job, a large household.

The Department for Citizenship and Migration of the Buda-Kashaliova District Department of Internal Affairs decided to expel the Russian citizen from Belarus with a five-year ban on entry because of an administrative offense. In February 2019, Trauter was caught on drunk driving by the traffic police. Another offense that he was charged with was talking on a mobile phone while driving.

“I was punished. I was deprived of my driver’s license for three years, I immediately paid a large fine. I repented, and I am asking to leave me here, with my family, in Belarus,” the villager said.

“I have nowhere to go! I have been living in Belarus since 1993. Here I have a family, work, loans, elderly sick parents. I have no one and nothing in Russia,” said the resident of the Buda-Kashaliova district.

The leadership of the Hubichy Communal Agricultural Unitary Enterprise, where Trauter works as a livestock breeder, sided with him. The petition for the Russian to be left in Belarus was signed by 67 residents of the village of Hubichy. On June 11, his relatives, fellow villagers, colleagues and friends came to the court to support Trauter. The man asks the court to cancel the decision of the police to expel him. Legal assistance is provided by the legal inspector of the independent REP trade union Leanid Sudalenka. He represents Trauter’s interests in court.

The complaint against the decision of the police department is considered by judge Sviatlana Lupichenka. The interests of the police department are represented by Victoryja Vasilenka, an employee of the citizenship and migration department. At the meeting, Trauter repeated once again that he had no place to go to in Russia - in Belarus he had a family, a sister, a sick mother, a job, a house and loans.

The representative of the police department did not recognize the complaint justified. Ms.Vasilenka believes that foreign citizens must “strictly abide by the law,” and she called the case of drunk driving “blatant.” She pointed out that the offense was deliberate, and Trauter had previously broken the law - for example, he traveled on a horse-drawn carriage without reflectors, and threw garbage in the wrong place.

Legal inspector Leanid Sudalenka reminded that the Constitution equates the rights and obligations of both Belarusian citizens and foreigners who have a residence permit. But the law on the legal status of foreign citizens living in Belarus permits expulsion even for one offense, such as drunk driving.

“This offense did not entail any serious consequences. The man repented, admitted his guilt - give him a chance to mend his ways. If the law interferes with people’s lives - the law must be changed, and not to bring people to a state where they cannot cope with this problem on their own,” commented Sudalenka. He recalled that since the beginning of the year in the Homel region, three Russian citizens have committed suicide because of expulsion for offenses. One of them lived in the Buda-Kashaliova district, had a family here, 6 children remained orphans. In a suicide note, he indicated the reason for suicide - the expulsion.

“Who will benefit from Trauter’s expulsion? If the police authorities say that this is how they bring order, then they cause confusion and sow civil society’s hatred towards the police,” said the human rights activist.

The next meeting will be held on June 21.