On August 15, Uladzimir Vasileuski, a judge of Aktsyabrski district court, recused himself from the case of local blogger Andrey Pavuk who sued officials of the district executive committee and the district council.
A day earlier, district prosecutor assistant Vadzim Shybut left a printed document containing the text of the judgment in court. These sheets were photographed and published on the web. According to the document, the judges were going to dismiss the complaint by Andrey Pavuk. The court decision was adopted in advance, before the end of the hearing, the blogger believes.
“The hearing has just started, the judge is still weighing whether a representative of the Belarusian Association of Journalists should be let in the courtroom, but the assistant prosecutor has already got a ready-to-use decision,” the plaintiff told Belsat.
Local officials do not allow the blogger to be present at staff meetings held by Viktar Paluyanau, Chairman of the district executive committee, as well as district council sessions, at which important local issues are discussed and tackles. The officials are in awe of Pavuk who is eager to broadcast their sessions online. Preventing him from attending, they refer to a number of regulations concerning the activities of the state structures.Trying to settle the dispute amicably, Andrey Pavuk addressed Homiel Region Executive Committee and the regional council. However, the officials claimed that his being barred from participation in the meetings above was quite justified..
Lawyer Leanid Sudalenka, Pavuk’s representative in court, does not know how the court’s decision landed up on the table of the prosecutor. He has never experienced such things before, the lawyer said on Facebook.
“The fact is indicative of the decisions being made in advance. I helped Pavuk file a complaint; I have done the distance of 200 km to be here. What for? To participate in the staged play?” Sudalenka stressed.
In his opinion, local authorities curtail the constitutional right to receive and distribute information, including on the activities of state bodies. According to article 31 of the local self-government law, citizens of Belarus ‘have the right to free access to meetings of a territorial body of public self-government’, as well as the right to participate in its work without voting.
Belsat.eu, following Baj.by