Participants of protest action near the Russian Embassy sentenced to arrest terms
At 2 p.m. on March 2, activists of various social and political movements tried to hold an action of protest near the Embassy of the Russian Federation. They were met by policemen in civvies and paddy wagons. The dispersal of the protest action was directed by the head of the Minsk police, Aliaksandr Barsukou. All in all, 23 people were detained, including many journalists. All detainees were taken to the Tsentralny District Police Department. The journalists were soon released.
Pensioner Hanna Bahinskaya was released after receiving charges. Other detainees were kept at the detention center in Akrestsin Street before the trial. On March 3 they were taken to court.
Human rights activists observe the trials.
11.30 a.m.: “Young Front” activists Zmitser Dashkevich, Siarhei Finkevich and Yauhen Tsikhanau
were taken to court.
12.30 - Judge Aliaksandr Yakunchykhin started the trial over Siarhei Finkevich. The judge prohibited the journalists to record the proceeding on audio in violation of the Process-Executive Code of the Republic of Belarus on administrative offences.
12.45 - Siarhei Finkevich pleads guilty and speaks about policemen in civvies.
1.00 p.m. First witness in Finkevich's case is policeman Mikalai Mikun. He is afraid to voice any information about the rally near the Embassy of the Russian Federation and says that Finkevich attracted his attention as he was standing near the entrance of the embassy without any aim. The judge decided not to summon the other police witness, Siarhei Ivanchuk, to the hearing.
1.15 – Siarhei Finkevich sentenced to ten days of arrest.
2.10 – dinner break announced at the Tsentral District Court. All people are ordered to leave the court building. Valery Shchukin refused to do it and was led out forcefully. Zmitser Dashkevich managed to reporet that he was taken to the DPD in a miniwan without seats, loaded with tyres. He refused to get in, after which the police used handcuffs and force. They threw him on the floor, and policeman Charniauski put stepped on him with his boots. An appeal against the violent actions of the police was filed with the Investigations Committee.
2.20 – Zmitser Dashkevich was sentenced to 12 days of arrest.
2.40 – Yauhen Tsikhanau's case is considered. The judge studies the case. The journalists were ordered to turn off their mobile phones and Dictaphones. Mr. Tsikhanau was charged under Article 17.1 (disorderly conduct) and 23.34 (participation in unauthorized mass event).
4.20 – Yauhen Tsikhanau was sentenced to 12 days of arrest.