Man Sentenced To 30 Days Of Arrest For Writing Bible Line On Building

In Brest, on 7 April, a court in Brest sentenced Andrei Levonyuk for writing a line “Deliver us from evil” from the Lord’s Prayer on a residential building. The judge agreed with the arguments of the prosecution and sentenced Levonyuk to one month of detention, the deregistered Vesna human rights centre reports.

On 13 February this year, an inscription in red paint “Deliver us from the evil one” appeared on the facade of a house on Vishneva Street in Brest. The person who made this inscription was detained. Turns out it was 32-year-old resident of Brest Andrei Levonyuk.

Andrei Levonyuk / the deregistered Vesna human rights centre

On 26 February, the court charged him under Art. 23.34 Administrative Code considered that the man’s actions were a “picket”. Soon the decision was cancelled due to the initiation of a criminal case under Art. 341 [Desecration of buildings and damage to property] of the Criminal Code of Belarus.

The investigation and the prosecutor’s office considered that the inscription was made “in order to demonstrate dissatisfaction with the results of the presidential elections in the Republic of Belarus”, called it “cynical” and entailed “a deterioration in the aesthetic perception of the building”.

A housing association estimated the damage at 51 rubles 99 kopecks [~$20/€16]. The defendant reimbursed it during the preliminary investigation. In court, Andrei Levonyuk admitted that it was he who left the inscription. But he did not agree that he “damaged the property”, since it was repeatedly “damaged” before him.

He noted that there were already inscriptions and other images on the building. According to Levonyuk, the housing and communal services still had to repaint the building. The man expressed surprise that the prosecution called the line from a prayer cynical. The judge sentenced the resident of Brest to a month of detention.