Rule of Law Institute


Citizen of Belarus charged with vandalizing Belarussian Embassy in Moscow

RUSSIA, Moscow. On July 10th, the Basmany Court of Moscow will begin to examine the criminal case against Belarussian citizen Yurassia Ivanyukovicha for "vandalism, i.e., the profanation of buildings or other construction". On May 9th, Ivanyukovicha wrote the following phrases with a marker on signs located on the wall of the Belarussian Embassy in Moscow: "Live Belarus!!!" and "BT (Belorussian Television) lies!!!" The inscriptions were erased, and Ivanyukovicha was detained.

On July 6th, Yurassia Ivanyukovicha and her attorney Stanislav Markelov took part in a press conference at the Independent Press Center. Markelov noted that the inscriptions were made not on Embassy premises, but on signs, which, in contrast to the building, do not have any historical value, since they date only to the beginning of the 90’s. Furthermore, no one at the embassy filed a claim related to the property. Therefore, calling the action vandalism is impossible, emphasized Markelov.

The attorney stated that Yurassia Ivanyukovicha can barely speak the Russian language. By law, she has a right to the services of a translator, and she should have been informed of this in a language she can understand. However, she was informed of this in Russian. The word "translator" means something different in Belarussian than in Russian. Therefore, Ivanyukovicha refused the services of a translator. The attorney assigned to her did not know Belarussian.

Stanislav Markelov, who came to represent Ivanyukovicha not long before the trial, emphasized that it was not right to try someone if judicial documents are in a language incomprehensible to her. The attorney also reported that, in spite of the law, the Belorussian consul was not invited to her hearing.

The maximum punishment for "vandalism" is one year corrective labor.

Translated by OM Kenney
PRIMA-News Agency[2006-07-06-Rus-36]

No Understanding In Basmanny Court

The Basmanny court of Moscow once again postponed hearing of the criminal case of a young activist from Belarus Yuras Ivaniukovich. In May he wrote “Long live Belarus!” and “Belarusian TV lies!” on a sign board of a Belarusian Embassy in Russia.

His lawyer Stanislav Markelov told about the trial to the European Radio For Belarus.

“Today one more so-caller interpreter arrived to the court. She tried to speak to my client. It was a very short conversation. She asked him where he comes from. He said: “From Mensk” (an earlier Belarusian name for Minsk). She could not understand whet he meant for a long time, and then she guessed that he was talking about Minsk. Then she couldn’t say a word in Belarusian. It’s an interpreter that cannot understand a word in Belarusian again”.

The hearing of Yuras Ivaniukovich’s case is postponed for August 31.

Source: 30.08.2006, Хартыя 97

Russian human rights activists stood up for Belarusians

Provocation of the State Drug Control Committee of Russia resulted in groundless criminal persecution of two Belarusian inhabitants. The activities of the Russian drug-fighters were reported by the human rights activists and lawyers of the victimized Belarusians at the press- conference on 12 July, the Sobkor®ru correspondent tells.

According to head of the Moscow Helsinki group Ludmila Alekseeva, two students from Belarus Alyaksandr Chechurau and Syargey Laguta were detained by the Federal Service of Drug Control staff members at one of the Moscow railway stations. The cough killer ”Tussal” was found in their luggage. The pills are traded in the youths’ home-country but in Russia the medicine was put on the list of psychotrops last year.

It is remarkable that the delivery of the pills by the students to Moscow was ordered by the so-called “customers” from the State Drug Control Committee who had introduced themselves as the Internet pharmacy staff members and ordered those ”Tussal” pills to the Belarus inhabitants through Internet promising a good reward for the deliverers.

Now 25 years in prison are facing the youngsters. It is hard and dangerous to persecute true drug dealers and, moreover, it is possible to make agreements with them. But nevertheless someone has to be caught”, Alekseeva said. She also stressed that this might happen to anyone as psychotrops are contained in some other medicines which are sold out without prescriptions in Russian pharmacies.

Lawyer Stanislav Markelov also added that if this scheme was followed than anyone buying the Coldrex may be arrested.

Markelov also said that he had already appealed to the law enforcement bodies of Belarus for consideration of the illegally conducted special operation by the Federal Service of Drug Control on the territory of a foreign state. He also applied in written form to the General Public Prosecutor’s Office stating that Chechurau and Laguta were unlawfully charged of smuggling as there was the presidential addict canceling the custom’s border between Russia and Belarus.

The press-conference participants declared that without interference of the public the students’ case is going to have an unhappy end. The lawyer said that he would do his best to make the Belarusian authorities take part in the fate of their citizens.

Source: 15:31, 13/07/2007,Хартыя” 97,

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