“The girl was sentenced to 25 days of imprisonment.”
On November 16th the Frunzenski District Court judge Andrey Mlechko sentenced Viktoria, a resident of Minsk city to 25 days of imprisonment. She was detained the day before at Peremen Square: at the court session, she said she was pregnant.
The court session was held on Skype. The detainee said she had not taken part in the protest and had not resisted her detention, although it was written in the official record. Moreover, she was pregnant. Unfortunately, she received a positive pregnancy test right before the protest event, she had no chance to register in the clinic.
“Such a precedent could have taken place only when “conveyor” justice is happening when a one-person court session takes at most five minutes,” states Alexey Loyko, the lawyer from Human Rights Defense Center “Viasna”. “Also, court sessions on Skype are not stated by an official law. Moreover, such a justice form prevents the implementation of some human rights. A Skype court session is being held at the detention center, where the girl in fact has no chance to provide her evidence.”
The girl was adjudicated according to two points of the Administrative Offenses Code: part 3 chapter 23.34 and chapter 23.4. By partially adding the terms of the two sentences, the court sentenced the girl to 25 days of administrative imprisonment. The court also rejected the request to call her mother as a witness.
However, according to part 2 chapter 6.7 of the Criminal Code, administrative imprisonment is prohibited to be implemented to pregnant women. Also, point 9 of Supreme Court decree from 25 September 2014 #15 “About the Courts’ Application of the norms of the General Part of the Code of the Republic of Belarus on Administrative Offenses” says:
“When deciding on the imposition of a penalty in the form of arrest, the court should find out whether the person in respect of whom the administrative proceedings are underway, is included to the persons referred to in Part 2 of Art. 6.7 of the Administrative Code, to which the application of arrest is prohibited.”
Alexey Loyko insists that in this case, the girl’s family should immediately hire an advocate, who will appeal the court order, based on these legal norms.
“This appeal should state that she didn’t have time to register her pregnancy in the clinic,” comments Alexey Loyko. “Also, it’s necessary to request the opportunity to get the pregnancy evidence, meaning the ability to pass the test in a medical institution.”