Updated at 14:58,21-10-2016

$5400 fine for a picket that wasnt held

22-10-2009, 16:08

The public activists, who were going to hold a picket in Homel in memory of the disappeared oppositionists, continue to get fines in their absence.

As Radio Svaboda reports, judge of the Chyhunachny district court of Homel Yaraslau Paremski fined activist of the United Civil Party Alyaksandr Karatchenka 1,050,000 rubles in absentia.

"I was abroad for the last week. I came home and found a court decision signed by Paremski in my mailbox. I wasnt present at the trial and didnt give any evidence. I was fined in my absence," Alyaksandr Karatchenka said.

Judge Paremski writes in the court decision that Karatchenka had been informed "about the time and place of the trial in due way, but he didnt visit the trial and didnt tell the court an excuse for absence".

Youth activist Artsyom Khmyalnitski got a fine, too.

"Judge Vitaly Kozyrau fined me 1,050,000 rubles. I wasnt present at the trial. I wasnt able to say what had happened in reality. The authorities suffocate any display of protests," Khmyalnitski said.

The biggest fine of 1,750,000 rubles was imposed on Uladzimir Katsora, the regional coordinator of the "For Freedom" movement. The total sum of the fines, which 13 activists got for the so called unauthorized rally that wasnt held in reality, is 14,175,000 rubles (over 5400 dollars note of charter97.org).

We remind that on September 16, democratic activists were going organize in Homel an action of memory of disappeared oppositionists Viktar Hanchar and Anatol Krasouski. No sooner had they left the office, they were detained by plainclothes militia officers. The democrats were accused of taking part in an unauthorized rally.