Minsk court convicts participants of Chernobyl Way march, journalists
Minsk Savetski District Court heard today administrative charges brought against six persons detained during and following Chernobyl Way memorial demonstration on Friday, including two journalists of Radio Racyja Henadz Barbarych and Aliaksandr Yarashevich, as well as human rights defender Viachaslau Dashkevich.
The two journalists were detained following the march and charged with disobeying police orders. Both spent the weekend in a detention center. According to a police report, the journalists were detained outside the Akiyan food store in Kazlou Street after they refused to produce their IDs and follow the policemen. However, the reporters argue they were detained at the entrance to the police department of Savetski district. As a result, Judge Kiryl Palulekh sentenced Henadz Barbarych and Aliaksandr Yarashevich to three days of arrest each. The journalists are expected to be released this evening.
Ihar Trukhanovich said during the trial that he left the demonstration before it was over, but was soon detained by people in plain clothes, who failed to give their names. However, Judge Aksana Reliava sentenced him to ten days of arrest on charges of participating in an illegal mass gathering.
Two more participants of the rally – Dzmitry Charniak and Aliaksandr Tarnahurski – were sentenced to ten days of arrest each on similar charges.
Human rights defender Viachaslau Dashkevich, who was detained while performing observation of the march, faced the same charges and was eventually sentenced to five days of administrative arrest.