Young Front Leader Zmitser Dashkevich Sentenced to 1.5 Years of Jail
The leader of the Young Front Zmitser Dashkevich has been sentenced to 1.5 years of imprisonment in a minimum security colony. The verdict to the young activist has been passed in a closed trial by a deputy chairperson of the court of Kastrychnitski district Ala Bulash. The cruel verdict to Zmitser Dashkevich caused active protest. More than 300 persons are standing outside the court scanning ‘Freedom to Dashkevich!’
The trial over Zmitser Dashkevich started on 30 October in the court of Kastrychnitski district of Minsk, and lasted for two days only because most of the witnesses didn’t come to the trial. He was charged with ‘activity on behalf of unregistered organization’ under Article 193 of the Criminal Code. Zmitser Dashkevich has spent more than a month in a remand prison. The maximum term of imprisonment under Article 193 is two years.
It is not the first ‘political trial’ under this article of the Criminal Code of Belarus. Activists of the public initiative of elections observation Partnership Tsimafei Dranchuk and Mikalai Astreka are already serving the sentence of one and two years respectively for participation in an unregistered organization.
It is a new article of the Criminal Code which appeared during the election campaign. According to observers, this article has appeared exclusively for exerting pressure on public activists and human rights activists.