On April 4, Syktyvkar city court imposed 60 hours of compulsory work on an activist Tatyana Ivanova for a one-person picket on Stefanovskaya Square on the Constitution Day of Russia on December 12, 2017. She did not plead guilty, as reported by the “7x7” journalist who attended the hearing.
The advocate Ernest Mezak applied to subpoena the police officers and Rosgvardia employees and to interrogate them as witnesses, because Ivanova was indicted on the basis of their official complaints under the part 8 of Article 20.2 of the Code of Administrative Offenses (“The repeated commission of an administrative offense provided for in pp. 1-6.1 of this article”).
“They are the prosecution witnesses, the allegation is based on their complaints. These are the only people who saw how this picket allegedly was held. Accordingly, we have questions to them, in particular, whether there was any breach of the peace”, said the advocate.
The judge rejected the motion.
“The basis is the picket itself that was held in the unauthorized place. There is no question about a breach of the peace, neither in the decision, nor in the record of the court”, said the judge Aleksandr Lekontsev.
Ernest Mezak claimed that there is a “fatal flaw” in the report on the administrative offence, since the part 8 of Article 20.2 refers to other parts of the same article.
“We do not understand what kind of act Ivanova committed, how is this fact reflected – did she violate something under the first part, second, third? Part eight is a fallback rule, it presupposes the repetition of some other actus reus, but this actus reus is not specified”, he Mezak pointed out. “The record does not indicate what re-offense was committed. We believe that this is enough to stop the proceedings, because the court was not told what the nature of the charge was, and no one is clarifying it. How would that conversation go?”
At the hearing the recording of the picket was demonstrated, after that Ernest Mezak stated that it was clear from the video that there had been no public danger.
Even the minimum custodial penalty under this part, which constitutes 150 thousand rubles, is clearly disproportionate. If the court agrees to the application of part eight, we ask it to confine itself to a reprimand. If there is a penalty involved, then to impose on Ivanova a compulsory work, because the arrest can not be imposed due to the fact that she has children under the age of 14, and she has no money to pay a fine because of the absence of permanent work. The sentence to a fine will put her family in a very difficult situation”, said the lawyer.
In the end of the deliberations, Tatyana Ivanova claimed that the ban on holding public events on Stefanovskaya Square violated her rights and the rights of all protesters.
When making the decision, the court took into account Ivanova's marital status, the presence of three underage dependent children, the absence of a permanent source of income, and imposed 60 hours of compulsory work.
Tatyana Ivanova did not agree with the decision and, as she told to the “7x7” journalist, she will appeal to the Supreme Court of Komi.
In August 2017, the court fined Tatyana Ivanova 10 thousand rubles for violation of the procedure for holding meetings and rallies, for a picket in the alley behind the Lenin monument next to Stefanovskaya Square, that she held on June 12. In September, the Supreme Court of Komi reduced the fine to 5 thousand rubles.
Tatyana Ivanova actively participated in the campaign to abolish the republican law No. 144, adopted in December 2016. According to it, only those whose income is less than 1.5 subsistence levels per family member are entitled to compensation for kindergartens. Ivanova was one of the initiators of the protests in Syktyvkar.
The Komi Parliament banned holding public events on Stefanovskaya Square and a number of other places on November 22, 2012. Civil activists were still going for one-person pickets to Stefanovskaya Square, which they were fined 10 thousand rubles for.