Activist sentenced to 15 days in jail over August meeting with Seviarynets
A judge of Brest’s Maskouski District Court on Wednesday sentenced activist Andrey Sharenda to 15 days in jail over last month’s meeting with opposition politician Pavel Seviarynets. As human rights defender Raman Kisliak told BelaPAN, the court sent Mr. Sharenda’s case back to the police for “the elimination of flaws” after considering it on August 31.
At Wednesday’s rehearing of the case, the judge found the man guilty of participation in an unauthorized event under Article 23.34 of the Administrative Offenses Code.
Mr. Kisliak, who also has been charged over the meeting with Mr. Seviarynets and was expected to stand trial on September 27, said that two opposition activists, Palina Panasiuk and Vital Symonik, had been grabbed by police as they had attempted to take pictures of Mr. Sharenda near the district courthouse on Wednesday.
“All today’s arrests and the jail sentence against Mr. Sharenda are revenge for active steps taken by those who attended the meeting with Mr. Seviarynets to complain about the illegal actions of the law enforcement officers and violations of their rights,” Mr. Kisliak stressed.
At the meeting hosted by Brest’s Belarusian Popular Front office on August 19, Mr. Seviarynets was telling the activists about his new book, Letters from the Forest, when police officers burst into the room. Fourteen people were charged with a minor civil offense in connection with the meeting. Mr. Seviarynets was sentenced to 15 days in jail on August 22.
Five people have already been fined and two have received a warning over the meeting.