Political prisoner Ihar Laptanovich sentenced to 2 ½ years in prison

2021 2021-08-04T13:41:22+0300 2021-08-04T13:41:22+0300 en http://spring96.org/files/images/sources/laptanovichy_90.png The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

On August 4, the Maskoŭski District Court of Brest convicted twelve defendants in the seventh trial of the so-called “dancing protest case” (Part 1 of Art. 342 of the Criminal Code, participation in actions that grossly violate public order). On September 13, 2020, protesters danced and sang protest songs at an intersection in central. As a result, the demonstration was dispersed by a water cannon.

The convicts include a political prisoner, a Pružany-based activist Ihar Laptanovich, and his wife Yuliya. The charges against the seventh group was considered by judge Vera Filonik.

As a result, the judge ordered the following sentences:

Artsiom Andrasiuk – 2 years of restricted freedom in an open penitentiary (“khimiya”);

Aliaksei Birukou – 2 years of home confinement;

Tatsiana Birukova – 2 years of home confinement;

Siarhei Dziahtsiaryk – 2 years of home confinement;

Darya Dziamiyanka – 2 years of home confinement;

Andrei Kastsiuk – 3 years of restricted freedom in an open penitentiary (“khimiya”);

political prisoner Ihar Laptanovich – 2 ½ years in prison;

Yuliya Laptanovich – 3 years of home confinement;

Uladzimir Makarevich – 2 ½ years of restricted freedom in an open penitentiary (“khimiya”);

Andrei Parfeyevets – 2 years of home confinement;

Kanstantsin Piatsinkin – 2 years of home confinement;

Natallia Shyla – 2 ½ years of restricted freedom in an open penitentiary (“khimiya”).

Political prisoner Ihar Laptanovich is the only defendant who was in pre-trial detention. He was detained on March 24. Of the 12 people, seven defendants pleaded not guilty.

67 people have already been convicted in the case.

Protesters dancing at an intersection in central Brest. September 13, 2020
Protesters dancing at an intersection in central Brest. September 13, 2020

According to the charges, the protesters “intentionally took an active part in group actions that grossly violates public order.” Their actions were “combined with a clear disobedience to the lawful demands of the authorities, causing disruption of transport, businesses and organizations.” In particular, the “dancing protest” delayed several trolleybus and bus routes, resulting in a total damage of around 660 rubles. In addition, several street vendors and a fast food restaurant had to close for several hours.

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