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Court trial of Nikolai Chernous, Our Generation’s activist from Baranovichi, was postponed
Today, Baranovichi city court had a trial of Nikolai Chernous, Our Generation’s activist from Baranovichi.

The trial of Nikolai was initiated by the local police who drew up a record of criminal activity according to Article 23, 29 (“Arbitrariness”)
It all began when Nikolai Chernous attempted to found a Ukrainian cultural organization Kobzar in Baranovichi. He has had quite a lot of connections in Ukraine (particularly in Sevastopol), so he wanted to organize trips for small children to the once famous Soviet recreation center “Artek”, place a monument to Taras Shevchenko in the center of Baranovichi, organize various cultural events in Ukraine and Belarus with participation of performers from both countries.
However, for two years already Baranovichi City Executive Committee has been turning down Nikolai’s requests for legal address, which is necessary for registration of an organization. Official reason was “absence of free space”, although the Baranovichi City Executive Committee’s website shows 35 available “free space” options. Everyone present at the court trial (the judge, Deputy Consul-General of Ukraine, representatives of Baranovichi civic society) agreed on the fact that the reason for denial was of an exclusively personal kind and caused by relations between Dichkovskiy, the Head of Baranovichi City Executive Committee, and Nikolai Chernous: Nikolai has often expressed publicly his opinion about Baranovichi’s officials.
Presiding Judge Pivovar sincerely tried to understand for what offence he has to judge Nikolai Pivovar and what is that local police sees as an offence. The problem was that Nikolai signed one of his requests for legal address as a “President of civic organization Kobzar”. Baranovichi’s Authorities decided it was an act of “arbitrariness”: he didn’t have a right to sign it this way as the organization does not exist, at all. Since representatives of the local authorities didn’t show up in court, the trial was postponed to February 10, 2012
It should be mentioned that the discussion at the trial was mostly devoted to the importance of such an organization in Baranovichi where 1210 citizens are ethnic Ukrainians. Deputy Consul-General of Ukraine Irina Chebotareva mentioned that there are 30 civic associations of Belarusian diaspora in Ukraine. Those associations were not denied room or premises for a merely symbolic rental payment (in some regions of Ukraine this payment equals the public transportation fee). The logic of the authorities that try to block the founding of Kobzarwas also actively discussed at the trial. According to the judge, it might have been because of “Orange revolution” and activities of Ukrainian National Assembly – Ukrainian National Self-Defense …
Strangely enough, other states don’t fear the spread of the last dictatorship in Europe for some reason.

Nikolay Chernous

Nikolay Chernous and Grigoriy Grik to the court






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