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  • Pavel Levinau Fined for 25 Basic Amounts

    On December 17, the Chyhunachny district court in Vitebsk heard the case of Pavel Levinau, the last person brought to account for the photo near the famous city graffiti.

    Pavel Lev­in­au motioned to adjourn the hear­ing because of his ill­ness; also, he had con­clud­ed a con­tract with a lawyer, but the lat­ter did not man­age to come in time. Judge Ale­na Tsy­hanko­va dis­missed all the motions filed by Lev­in­au. She made two rep­ri­mands that the defen­dant attempt­ed to take the time with his motions; the rep­ri­mands were reg­is­tered in court records. She allowed video record­ing, but only if Lev­in­au did it by him­self.

    So he did.

    The judge dis­missed the motion to con­sid­er pho­tos and online mate­ri­als con­firm­ing that police in Viteb­sk had a spe­cial inter­est to the pho­to ses­sion of the jour­nal­ists and activists.

    “I offered a num­ber of pho­tos to be includ­ed into the case mate­ri­als, includ­ing a pho­to of the real pick­et which I held in Novem­ber 2013. Nobody held me liable for that. So, I asked Major Ali­ak­san­dr Rybak­ou, who had made the admin­is­tra­tive reports, what caused the extreme inter­est in our pho­to ses­sion? I heard no clear answer. The Major repeat­ed the same things as in all the pre­vi­ous tri­als: that we were express­ing our civ­il and polit­i­cal inter­ests in the pho­tos.”

    Pavel Lev­in­au, like all the oth­ers, was found guilty of hold­ing an unsanc­tioned pick­et and fined 25 basic amounts.

    We remind that before Novem­ber 5, the day of the inter­na­tion­al cam­paign Stand Up For Jour­nal­ism, a team of BAJ mem­bers from Viteb­sk took a pho­to at the back­ground of a famous graf­fi­ti in Viteb­sk – the image of paper-cut birds fly­ing out of cage. This was a sym­bol­ic action to join the inter­na­tion­al cam­paign of the EFJ and the cam­paign of BAJ in sup­port of jour­nal­ists pros­e­cut­ed for their pro­fes­sion­al activ­i­ties.

    Six peo­ple, includ­ing Lev­in­au, were fined and one per­son was arrest­ed for three days for vio­lat­ing arti­cle 23.34 of the Admin­is­tra­tive Code.

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