Homel court fines opposition activists
The court of Homel’s Navabelitski district considered today the charges brought against the UCP deputy chairman Vasil Paliakou and civil society activist Uladzimir Shytsikau. Earlier this morning, the pro-democratic activists were summoned to the police department. There, under the supervision of head of the law enforcement department Henadz Khilkevich, the policemen drew up a report for violation of Article 23.34 of the Administrative Code (“unauthorized rally”), and immediately took Paliakou and Shytsikau to court. The trial lasted 15 minutes, the opposition members were found guilty of illegal gathering, and punished by a fine of 2 million rubles each.
The activists were convicted for laying flowers to mark the 95th anniversary of the Belarusian People’s Republic.
The opposition politicians pleaded not guilty and will appeal the decision. The witness at the trial was the same head of the law enforcement department Henadz Khilkevich. He claimed he was watching the action, and said that the laying of flowers was a meeting not approved by the authorities.