20 June 2021, Sunday, 19:45
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Palina Sharenda-Panasiuk in Court: I Thank the International Community for Sanctions against the Lukashenka Regime

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Palina Sharenda-Panasiuk in Court: I Thank the International Community for Sanctions against the Lukashenka Regime
Palina Sharenda-Panasiuk

A bold speech by the European Belarus activist.

On June 7, the trial of the European Belarus activist Palina Sharenda-Panasiuk began in the Maskouski district court of Brest. The activist from Brest is known for her clear-cut and irreconcilable stance towards the Lukashenka regime. During the “parliamentary elections” in 2019, in which she took part, the European Belarus activist declared on television that Lukashenka was a dictator and also called for his resignation.

Palina Sharenda-Panasiuk, a Polish language tutor, together with her husband, the European Belarus activist Andrei Sharenda, brings up two minor children.

According to nn.by, about half of those who came to support Palina could not get into the courtroom: there were not enough seats. Although, the relatives were allowed in. Her husband Andrei, who is under house arrest, came to support his wife: two criminal cases have been initiated against him.

Andrei Sharenda
Photo: Nasha Niva

The police categorically forbade filming in court even before the hearing.

In addition, everyone was required to turn off their mobile phones at the entrance.

Palina Sharenda-Panasiuk is being tried in three criminal cases: under Art. 364 of the Criminal Code (violence or threat of violence against an employee of the internal affairs bodies), art. 368 (insulting the president), and art. 369 (insulting a government official). The maximum punishment is up to 6 years in prison.

7 policemen are victims in the case.

"I don’t get up in front of the bandits"

“Please stand up,” they called upon everyone when the judge entered the hall.

“I don’t get up in front of the bandits,” the accused answered.

“We must testify while standing; otherwise, I can remove you,” the judge warned.

After that, the woman got up.

Palina Sharenda-Panasiuk is married, mother of two minor children (boys of 5 and 12 years old). Works as a Polish language tutor.

“Since what day have you been in custody?” asked the judge.

“Captured on January 3,” the woman replied.

In general, she did not so much answer questions as she was indignant at what was happening and the situation in the country.

“I do not consider you a court. Political repression has nothing to do with the court,” she repeated several times.

"Do you want to challenge the composition of the court?" the judge asked Palina.

"You are not a court."

"For what reasons?"

"Stalin's troika, field gendarmerie, but you are not a court."

"Are you challenging me?" the judge asked.

“I challenge the whole system,” was the answer. Sharenda-Panasiuk repeated several times - you are not a court. And she added: "I get up only because they can use violence against me, as it was used in the pre-trial detention center."

After that, the judge went out to make a decision to challenge himself. The expected result: the petition for the challenge to be rejected.

The lawyer requested to change the measure of restraint to Palina to recognizance not to leave. The prosecutor did not support it. The judge denied this request.

"To repulse a bandit is the honor and duty of a citizen"

At the trial, when she was not personally addressed, Palina defiantly read some book.

The judge read out the case materials.

"Do you understand the accusation?" she asked.

“This is not an accusation, this is a politically motivated prosecution,” Sharenda-Panasiuk said. And instead of answering, she began to read out the manifesto: “The people are sovereign, they elected Tsikhanouskaya as the head of state. A war has been unleashed in Belarus against the people, the masked regime is used by bandits for anonymization..."

"Do you admit your guilt?" the judge asked.

“I emphasize that this is a politically motivated prosecution. This is a criminal case, in which you will then be accused. You are participating in political repression,” said Palina.

"Do you admit guilt?"

"Do you admit that you are taking part in political repression?"

"No questions are asked to the court. Don't you admit that you are guilty?" the judge asked again.

“It is the honor and duty of a citizen to repulse a bandit,” Sharenda-Panasiuk replied. "I am not an accused, I am a political prisoner. I demand to stop this circus."

Then they interrogated the policemen who act as “victims” in court.

“I thank the international community for imposing sanctions against the Lukashenka regime”

As the militiamen told, at the Sharenda-Panasiuk department she refused to write an explanatory note; instead of a signature, she wrote: “I confirm the fact of political repressions.”

When the judge asked if the accused had any questions, she again spoke of election fraud.

The voice of the so-called injured AMAP officer was not distorted to a brutal hum, as the security forces like to do in their videos, but, on the contrary, the voice sounded like a cartoon one - as if the AMAP officer inhaled helium from balloons.

He filed a claim for 2,000 rubles.

The same "victim" filed a lawsuit: he wants 1,500 rubles.

"Do you accept the claim?" the judge asked Sharenda-Panasiuk.

“I can only congratulate these two men for the way they have chosen to feed the family,” she replied. "Money will be charged from me, you will receive these 30 pieces of silver, but they will not bring you happiness, remember how Judas finished."

"Do you accept the claim?" asked the judge.

"Not. This is not a lawsuit, this is a robbery."

The second police officer said that Polina called him and her colleague: fascist # 1 and fascist # 2.

He also filed a claim for 1,500 rubles, as he suffered "mental suffering."

"Accused, do you accept the claim?" the judge asked.

“I thank the international community for imposing sanctions against the Lukashenka regime and call for an international tribunal!” Sharenda-Panasiuk said.

"Defendant, are there any questions?"

"Aren't you ashamed?" Sharenda-Panasiuk asked the judge.

"You cannot ask questions to the court. Any questions for the witness?"

“Aren't you ashamed?” Palina asked the witness.

"The question is removed."

"Do you have a conscience?"

"The question is removed."

"How will you look your family in the eyes?"