Vitsebsk: trial of “European Belarus” activists
Ivan Salokhin and Uladzislau Varanetski were detained
in the evening of 11 December, while trying to hang out the banner “Freedom to
political prisoners!” on a bridge.
They were detained by policemen in civvies, driving an ordinary civil car. One of them hit Varanetski in the eye while seizing the mobile telephone, by which the latter tried to tell about his detention. He also threatened to smother the activists if they complained about their health or insisted on calling an ambulance.
They spent the night at a detention facility. At about 10 a.m. on 12 December Varanetski contacted his friends by phone and informed them that he and Salokhin were taken the Chyhunachny District Court of Vitsebsk.
Judge Alena Tsyhankova didn't give the defendants any time for concluding agreements with counsels, saying that they had no money for it in any case. She found Salokhin and Varanetski guilty of violating Article 23.34 of the Code of Administrative Violations, and issued them with official warnings, as it was their first trial.