Belarusian human rights activist jailed for 4 days (updated)


The court hearing took place on Monday on charges against well-known Belarusian human rights activist Aleh Vouchak (or Volchek) of petty hooliganism. The claim which Mr Vouchak denied was that he had been swearing and waving his arms about in public.  and apparently charged him with petty hooliganism. Charter 97 quotes BelaPAN as reporting that his request to have the detention protocol read out was denied as was the application to video the court hearing. He was jailed for 4 days.

Aleh’s friends say that a policeman came up to him on the street and asked to check his documents. He had time to inform friends that he was being held at the Moskovsky District Police Station, but has since deleted all calls.

It is likely that a search will be carried out (or has been carried out) of his home.

Aleh Vouchak is a veteran of the Soviet Afghanistan War and later worked as an investigator in the Minsk Prosecutor’s Office.

He has been involved in human rights work since 1990, and has actively helped many political prisoners including Alexander Kazulin and Nikolai Avtukhovych.

His activities have on many occasions prompted venomous attacks by the Lukashenko-controlled media. His legal aid organization was stripped of its registration in 2003.  An appeal over the dissolution of the organization (Legal Aid for the Public) is under consideration in the UN Human Rights Committee. 

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