Iryna Khalip set to file appeal with Supreme Court, complain to UN Human Rights Committee about sentence


Iryna Khalip, a journalist and the wife of former presidential candidate Andrey Sannikaw, has announced plans to go to the Supreme Court and send a complaint to the UN Human Rights Committee about a sentence that was passed on her in connection with a post-election protest staged in Minsk on December 19, 2010.

Iryna KhalipOn Tuesday, the Minsk City Court rejected Ms. Khalip’s appeal against the sentence.

Talking to reporters following the hearing, Ms. Khalip said, “We have a nice judicial tradition whereby you know beforehand what will happen and what the judge with the prosecutor will say.”

“I don’t believe that the Supreme Court will consider the case in a different way, but we want to go through all institutions to have all necessary papers for the UN, as well as for our rehabilitation that will take place when things will change. And they will change very soon,” she said.

Ms. Khalip added that she was very much grateful to her lawyer, Hanna Bakhtsina. “Her speech was bright. She spoke as not just a lawyer, but also a person and citizen,” she said.

It took several hours for a three-judge panel chaired by Uladzimir Stsyapurka to consider Ms. Khalip’s appeal, as well as appeals filed by Syarhey Martsalew, who was the campaign manager of candidate Mikalay Statkevich; and Paval Sevyarynets, the campaign manager of Vital Rymashewski. The panel rejected all of them.

On May 16, a judge of the Zavodski District Court found the three guilty of "the organization and preparation of actions that are in gross violation of public order or active participation in them" in connection with the post-election protest.

Ms. Khalip and Mr. Martsalew were sentenced to a suspended two-year prison term with two years` probation, and Mr. Sevyarynets was handed a three-year "restricted freedom" sentence.

Mr. Sevyarynets said following the appeals hearing on Tuesday that he would also file an appeal with the Supreme Court and complain to the UN Human Rights Committee.