European Belarus activist fined Blr 800,000

On July 4, 2012 Pershamayski district court in Minsk found Andrey Molchan guilty of administrative violation under Art. 23.34 (unsanctioned holding of mass action or picketing).
“The judge denied my motion for watching the videos filmed near the building of Pershamayski district directorate of internal affairs. But he took into consideration the policemen’s testimonies. They were confused and did not know what replies they should give. As for me, I stated that I held no picket or mass action, nothing was picketed, I just unfolded a white-red-white flag in the street,” Molchan said.
According to him, the judge found him guilty and fined Blr 800,000 (app. $100) on the spot. Andrey Molchan and his defence lawyer intend to make an appeal against it to a highest instance.
The policemen detained Andrey Molchan near Pershamayski store in Minsk. The activist unfolded a white-red-white flag in solidarity with Siarhei Kavalenka, the imprisoned Vitsebsk oppositionist. In a few minutes a car drove up and policemen approached to him. Molchan attempted to find out on what basis he was being arrested but violent use of force was their answer. While he was being beaten in the street another car drove up. They threw Molchan into the car having secured him. The policemen continued hitting Andrey in the car. Police announced the intention to open a criminal case in relation to Andrey Molchan for contempt of the president and beating of a police worker.
On May 21, 2012 the Minsk emergency care hospital staff ascertained that Andrey Molchan had a jaw fracture and craniocerebral trauma. But later the doctor told the activist that his jaw fracture was prevalent. As for Andrey, he asserted that he had had no jaw fracture before. On June 25 he was released with diagnosis “craniocerebral trauma” and recommended to consult doctors in a polyclinic.
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