A politician Mr. Viacheslav Sivchik has to attend a court room so often as if it is his full time job. Suits against him seem to multiply and his involvement with the judicial system is becoming permanent. On the June, 2 he had to appear before the court yet another time and to be fined as per usual…

To impose a fine on a citizen seems to become a reliable source of income for the state whose budget is ever more lacking funds. Sivchik case is a good example here. In fact two cases of a very similar nature were filed against him. His appeal to unite them into one on the ground of their similarity was rejected; two cases mean two guilty verdicts and twice as much money received from fines. Fine money indeed!

It will not be surprising at all to see in the nearest future law-enforcers forging three-four cases a day, the grounds are plenty: gathering more than three people in one place, talking to each other in public, praying in the street, sing song, cite verses aloud, sit on the ground, clap the hands, have red and white flowers on you… all can be qualified as peace and order disturbance.

The charges against Mr. Sivchik were of disobedience to the law-enforcers’ orders. The accused denies the charge brought against him. During the trial he pointed out a number of inconsistencies in the case: the witnesses (all policemen) did not remember what the accused was dressed in, the police report was compiled not at the “scene of crime” but later in the police office, the photograph used as evidence was not dated, moreover it was not clear who should have been credited for taking the photo, etc. It should give more than enough reasons to the court to apply the presumption of innocence to the case. Alas! The judge was explicitly inclined to believe in (ungrounded) decency of the police and dishonesty of the political activist. This is the presumption of culpability in action.

Nothing lasts forever, none of the regimes. Belarusian one is not an exception here. When this regime is over all so called law-enforcers will have to take responsibility for their actions. Or they will have to be held responsible; one of the ways to do that is to reduce their seniority by the number of years they served to the regime.

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