Opposition activist Rubtsow leaves jail after serving out 25-day sentence

2014 2014-05-23T14:14:57+0300 2014-05-23T14:14:57+0300 en

The Homyel resident was released several hours early and driven by police officers from the jail to the central railroad terminal, human rights defender Anastasiya Loyka told BelaPAN.

Associates who gathered outside the jail to meet the activist were told that he was already at the railroad station.

Mr. Rubtsow, an independent trade union member, was arrested following a traditional "Charnobylski Shlyakh" (Path of Chernobyl) demonstration staged in downtown Minsk on April 26 to mark the 28th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear accident.

Taking part in the march, Mr. Rubtsow wore a T-shirt that bore a "Lukashenka Go" message on its front side. The text written on the back of the white T-shirt said, “Arrest me. On what grounds? I am against Lukashenka.”

Mr. Rubtsow did not have the T-shirt on during his trial in the Savetski District Court on April 28. When Mr. Rubtsow expressed indignation over the fact that Judge Kiryl Palulekh was hearing his case behind closed doors, he was told that he would be charged with contempt of court.

The activist refused food for several days in the detention center to protest his arrest and jailing.

Mr. Rubtsow said that the police had not returned the T-shirt to him after his release.

Meanwhile, the Investigative Committee is said to be deciding whether to charge Mr. Rubtsow with contempt of court.