Updated at 16:11,02-12-2016

Ivashkevich cannot leave Belarus due to "destructive talks about sanctions"

A coordinator of European Belarus civil campaign, Viktar Ivashkevich, was banned from leaving the country, because he has not "repented" on the Charter'97 website.

It should be reminded that an employee of the Mozyr oil refinery, Maryna Tsybliyenka, filed a lawsuit against politician Viktar Ivashkevich in May 2012. The reason was that the opposition politician called on European companies to boycott Belarusian oil products. A court ruled out that Ivashkevich must pay 500,000 rubles to the Mozyr refinery employee and publish an article on the Charter'97 website refuting his statements, in which he urged to impose economic sanctions.

Viktar Ivashkevich paid the "compensation" and was permitted to travel abroad six months later. An officer of court told the politician today that he was not allowed to leave the country, because he did not refute his statement in media.

"I have talked to an officer of court regarding the case of Tsybliyenka, who filed a lawsuit against me, after, as she claims, my remarks on economic sanctions had raised her blood pressure. In accordance with the court decision, I had to pay her 500,00 rubels for medicines and refute my statements in media. As for the refutation, I notified in a written form that I was not able to go abroad to agree on the refutation with the Charter'97 website, because the court slapped exit restrictions on me. The judge, who heard the case, decided to lift the travel ban from me. I was abroad several times after that.

I had telephone call from the criminal investigation department on Friday. I was told that they had a document from a court obliging to put me on the wanted list. I went to a police station and they issued an official document saying that I didn't hide and there's no need to include me in the wanted list. I went to the court with this document. I talked to an officer of court and figured out that the fine, which I had paid to Tsybliyenka, was sent to a wrong person. It was a bureaucratic error. Secondly, they have an order to ban me from leaving the country, because I have not published the refutation yet,"
Viktar Ivashkevich said.

The politician links the travel ban to resumed discussions on sanctions.

"I think the cause is the discussions on sanctions that have been resumed in society and in the West. I stood for imposing sanctions and the court took such a decision to prevent me from going abroad and expressing my position. It is a silly decision, I think. These are absolutely senseless actions that demonstrate real moods of the Belarusian leadership. The travel ban shows that the regime doesn't plan any liberal concessions despite all calls to the dialogue and statements on the necessity to "stop destructive talks on sanctions" made by For Freedom movement leader Aliaksandr Milinkevich," Ivashkevich said.