Three protesters convicted in traffic obstruction trial
The Lieninski District Court of Minsk ruled today to sentence Volha Klaskouskaya to two years in prison on charges of “blocking vehicular traffic” during a demonstration on October 13. Two more defendants, Artur Bulauski and a minor Maksim Babich, were sentenced to two and a half and three years of restricted liberty (“home imprisonment”). The two men were released from custody in the courtroom.
Judge Maryna Zapasnik found the three protesters guilty under Part 1 of Article 342 and Part 2 of Article 339 of the Criminal Code. They were accused of staging a protest at an intersection in the Sierabranka district of Minsk, which resulted in disrupted traffic. They also had a fight with one of the drivers. Volha Klaskouskaya and Maksim Babich were recognized as political prisoners.
The case files featured five victims. None of them had any claims.
In her last statement, Klaskovskaya said:
“When I was detained, I was beaten very badly. I felt bad after they brought me to the police department, and they called for an ambulance. I was taken to the 5th hospital, where I was diagnosed with brain injury and concussion. It’s all in the case file, but for some reason such trifles are irrelevant. After I was prescribed treatment, I was abducted by unknown people in balaclavas when I was hooked up to an IV, with a catheter in my vein. When I got to Akrestsin Street and then to Žodzina, I was denied medical care again, despite the prescription. When I was in the police department, I refused to testify, I was threatened with execution several times if I did not testify against myself or other people. I refused. They did not break me and will never break. If I am convicted under this article, it will be a great honor for me. This means that my life was not lived in vain, I am with my people. Long live Belarus!”