Committee Salidarnasc's appeal in connection with interview of Mr. Lukashenko to France-Presse Agency

In the interview to the agency France-Presse the President of the Republic of Belarus A.Lukashenko said: There are no political prisoners in Belarus and these people are just criminals. In this connection the Committee for Defence of the Repressed “Salidarnasc” wants to state the following: A political prisoner is described by Amnesty International as “any prisoner whose case has a significant political element: whether the motivation of the prisoner’s acts, the acts themselves, or the motivation of the authorities”. The main is the political motivation of the authorities to pursuit a person. Almost always such pursuit is accompanied with the violation of legal norms or/and international human rights standards. • Elements of falsification in charges • Violation of pre-trial and trial procedural guarantees, including cases of brutal treatment, tortures and threats to use it. • Tendentiousness in giving assessment of evidential force of advocacy and prosecution. • Knowingly usage of inadequate to what has been done norms of the law. • Discriminative character of prosecution in comparison with similar cases of other people. • The term of imprisonment is longer than it has to be for the offence the person is a suspect or was found guilty of. The Committee “Salidarnasc” demands the complete removal of political motivation from the legal and law enforcement sphere. In the same interview A.Lukashenko mentioned that young activists who were arrested during demonstrations were unconscious and drunk, and that they needed to spend 10-15 days in prison to get over it. We want to state that these words are not based on real facts. The Administrative Code of the Republic of Belarus considers the fact of alcoholic intoxication to be an aggravating circumstance. Because of this it is always mentioned in court rulings. Legal Service of the Committee “Salidarnasc” is constantly monitoring all administrative cases against democratic activists. On the basis of the copies of court rulings on administrative cases we can assert that in 2007 out of 44 activists who were convicted of administrative offences only in two court rulings it was written that they were in the state of alcoholic intoxication (but the expertise was not held). In 2008 out of 26 cases no one was in the state of alcoholic intoxication. Committee for Defence of the Repressed “Salidarnasc” asks to use objective an proven information in future.