For the second day, the Moskovsky district court in Minsk has been considering the cases of healthcare workers detained on Monday, 2 November, at a solidarity action with the expelled students of Belarusian State Medical University.
Nine healthcare workers were detained during a rally of solidarity with the expelled students. All of them were taken to the police department of the Moskovsky district, at night three women were released, while men were transferred to a pre-trial dentention facility on Okrestin Street.
The medics were charged with article 23.34 [breaching the order for organizing and holding mass events] of the Administrative Code of Belarus. On 3 November, it took a judge only three minutes to deliver the sentence for obstetrician-gynecologist Stanislav Solovey.
According to the case materials, the gynecologist “violated the order of the street procession”, he allegedly participated in the event, which the Minsk city executive committee did not authorize. While testifying via video link, Solovey pleaded not guilty.
The process lasted 17 minutes, three more minutes were needed for judge Tatyana Motyl to pass a final judgement – guilty, 15 days of arrest. After that, the case of Ruslan Badamshin, a doctor of the Republican Scientific and Practical Center of Neurology and Neurosurgery, was considered.
“As a graduate of BSMU, I came to the main building of the university to meet my colleagues. Earlier students had been illegally expelled for their citizenship. They spoke out against violence, lawlessness and the killing of civilians,” the doctor explained.
According to the detainee, the medics gathered to communicate with one another and discuss how they can help the expelled students. And then at some point, “the men in black” ran out, they did not introduce themselves and started arbitrarily detaning people.
“They humiliatingly put me on the floor [of a bus – Ed.] and forbade me to get up. And a driver called us fascists, I think this is an offense. They insulted us, healthcare workers who save lives and to whom you, perhaps, go too,” Badamshin told the court.
When his questioning ended, the senior district officer of the Moskovsky district police department Aleksandr Bondarenko got in touch via Skype. He claimed that he saw how “a group of citizens in white coats with flashlights were moving with a specific purpose.”
“They were walking with a banner and chanted “Long live Belarus!”. […] When passing cars were honking in support, a group of citizens showed thumbs up and clapped their hands,” Bondarenko said.
“Tell me, is it forbidden to wear white coats in the Republic of Belarus? Is there any rule?” Badamshin’s lawyer Alexander Kazeev asked the witness. “No, it is not prohibited,” the police offcer responded.
While listening to the police officer, the doctor repeatedly asked him why he was lying. “The fact that the witness is lying is your conclusion,” judge Lidiya Telitsa remarked. After witness for the defense gave her testimony, Badamshin was sentenced to 15 days of arrest too.
On 4 November, the hearing on the cases of healthcare workers continued. Evgeniy Maisky, a doctor of magnetic resonance imaging of the Republican Scientific and Practical Center for Traumatology and Orthopedics, was sentenced by judge Sergey Katser to nine days of arrest.
Recall that on 2 November, people gathered near Belarusian State Medical University for an action of solidarity with the expelled students, then they walked along Dzerzhinsky Avenue. Nine of them were detained: traumatologist-orthopedist of the Republican Scientific and Practical Center for Traumatology and Orthopedics Ruslan Yakubovsky, obstetrician-gynecologist of the 3rd City Clinical Hospital Stanislav Solovey, vascular surgeon of the Minsk Scientific and Practical Center for Surgery, Transplantology and Hematology Dmitry Markelov, Magnetic resonance imaging of the Republican Scientific and Practical Center for Traumatology and Orthopedics Evgeniy Maisky, traumatologist-orthopedist of the Republican Scientific and Practical Center for Traumatology and Orthopedics Leonid Glazkin, neurologist of the Republican Scientific Practical Center for Neurology and Neurosurgery Ruslan Badamshin. Olga Stefanovich, a nurse of the Republican Scientific and Practical Center for Traumatology and Orthopedics, Valeria Timoshenko, a dermatovenerologist at the dermatovenerologic dispensary, doctor of endoscopic diagnostics of the LODE medical center Irina Markelova were briefly detained but then released.