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No more fines for ‘public swearing’?
Trial after the March 25 rally. Photo: Euroradio.
Article 17 (1) of the Administrative Code (’hooliganism’) may be amended as members of parliament plan to remove the notion ‘bad language’. People will only be subjected to responsibility for ‘bothering citizens and other actions violating the order’.
'Bad language' will be simply replaced with ‘other actions violating the order’, rights defender Valyantsin Stefanovich told Euroradio.
Valyantsin Stefanovich: “The problem is not the article itself but the political motive of its application. You can add bad language to the second part of the article if you need it. Our citizens are subjected to responsibility for bad language only if it sounds disrespectful to the public. There will be no dramatic changes. What is the point?”
Activist Pavel Vinahradau has already stood 12 trials for ‘public swearing’ and spent a total of 120 days in a detention center to serve his administrative arrest terms.
“I do not think that people should be jailed for swearing. I can swear too from time to time. Nevertheless, I have never done it in the presence of policemen.”
Other changes are about to be made to the Administrative Code. Drivers will no longer be deprived of their driving license for speeding and will not be fined if they leave their license behind.