October 3, Central district court of Minsk fined detainees participating in a picket at Peramoha Square in the amount of 10-30 base units (Br350 thousand - Br1.05 million). They were accused of administrative violations under Art. 23.34 of the Administrative Code of Belarus (violation of order or organization of mass action or picketing). Lawyer Tamara Sergei got maximum penalty.
The action was attended by about 20 women, suffered from serious crimes and disagreed with the courts decisions. Participants were picketing with placards "Officials - to liability," "Presidential administration - reliable guard against lawlessness in the country," BelaPAN.
"We stayed from 13:00 to 13:20. Then we saw men in plain clothes and in the form of Special Forces personnel running. They rushed to women, roughly torn posters and led them towards the buses. A woman of 1938 of birth, an intelligent, former teacher, was grabbed by the arms and legs and thrown into the bus, without waiting until she walks herself," said Tamara Sergei.
According to her, nine of the detained women were brought to the Central police station where they were kept for about 4.5 hours. "They demanded our fingerprints and photographs. People were intimidated. I was the only one who managed to, but I understand those people who couldn't stand such pressure," she pointed out.
The lawyer said she was threatened by jail, where, after a night with the homeless, she would have become more compliant. "They led me down the stairs, took out into the street, imitating sending me to the detention center. In the end, they let me go - at 20:50, after 7.5 hours of arrest. What a legal system can be talked about, when men in authority bully over women," she said.
Picketing Women Believed Lukashenko's Promises, Sergei
Picket participants, remained at large, carried the appeal to the Presidential Administration, while its copies - to the Supreme Court and the Prosecutor General. The document makes reference to the words of President Alexander Lukashenko, who December 7 at All-Belarus People's Assembly instructed head of his administration Vladimir Makei and General Prosecutor Hrigori Vasilevich to address the problems of this group of women.
However, according to Tamara Sergei, "a minority of cases was considered, and most women continued receiving formal replies." Women appealed to prosecute Deputy Chairman of Minsk Executive Committee Ihor Karpenko, refused to sanction the rally.
"When we came out on December 6, nobody bothered us and dispersed brutally. We went in hope to be heard, as the president urged for a round table. There was no dialogue again," said the lawyer.