Trial of Vitsebsk opposition members is put off because of no interpreter

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Vitsebsk opposition members Barys Hamaida and Alyaksandr Salauyan will have to spend one more night in a confinement cell because the judge Iryna Smalyakova cannot speak Belarusian. A non-party opposition member Barys Hamaida and a member of BNF Alyaksandr Salauyan were detained yesterday evening. They had attached a white-red-white flag to a roof of a block of flats in Praudy Street not far from Kastrychnistky District Executive Committee and had one more flag on them.

The head of Kastrychnistki District Department of the Interior Andrei Prakapovich considered their actions illegal vigil. The court started the hearing of the administrative case of Hamaida and Salauyan at 2 p.m. today but it was suspended soon afterwards.

Both opposition members demanded that the judge spoke Belarusian to them or invited an interpreter. The judge spent almost 2 hours trying to settle the issue. As a result, the trial was put off till January 31.

The hearing will continue with an interpreter tomorrow morning.

Yadvіha Stasheuskaya, ERB, Vіtsebsk