News / 07.08.18

Andrei Strizhak: "Rulers can make the trial on 'trade union case' closed"

Yulia Lyaskova, the press secretary of the Belarusian Supreme Court, wrote on her Facebook that, perhaps, not everyone will be able to get to the trial of REP leaders:

"I draw your attention that with the aim to ensure the due order in the courtroom and safety of trial parties and the audience, the issue of people's access to an open court session is considered by the court with account of the capacity of the courtroom. We urge media people to come well in advance."

The website asked Andrei Strizhak, the deputy chair of the Gomel branch of the REP Trade Union, to comment on the above statement:

"This statement means that the court, knowing that many people are coming to the trial, is not going to provide a large courtroom. Neither national nor international legislation states that the capacity of the courtroom can result in a closed trial. How else can we treat the trial, where people can't get?"

"There are many halls in Minsk able to house hundreds of people; and the court has every reason to hold a visiting session on this resonant case. It would ensure both 'proper order' and 'security' on which the court is so worried about."

"Being also a rights defender and the head of the HRC "Viasna" regional office, I treat the court's actions as a restriction of the right to a fair trial. Regardless of the courtroom selected by the court, people will still come to support the REP Trade Union."

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