Minsk court fines protesters against police violence
The Court of Minsk’s Lieninski district heard today the administrative charges brought against nine participants in a peaceful protest against police-related violence staged outside the building of the Supreme Court on January 30.
Aliaksandr Makayeu, leader of entrepreneurs’ protests, was found guilty of violating Part 3, Article 23.34 of the Administrative Code (violation of the order of organizing and holding mass actions committed repeatedly within a year). The court ruled to punish him by a fine of 10.5 million rubles. He pleaded not guilty, saying that his involvement in street protests is the constitutional right of every citizen.
The case of Sviatlana Yakshyna has been sent back for revision, after it turned out that a copy of the police report did not match the original.
Opposition activist Nina Bahinskaya did not appear in the courtroom. However, the Judge decided to open the hearing without her. According to the charges, Ms. Bahinskaya was holding a white-red-white flag. As a result, she was fined 5.25 mln rubles.
Maksim Viniarski, activist of the European Belarus opposition movement, admitted that he brought a poster to the site of the protest, but he refused to view this as an administrative offense. He also said that he did not receive a copy of the police report. Besides, his rights were not explained to him.
The activist was charged with violation of Art. 23.34 of the Administrative Code (Part 3) – participation in an unauthorized mass event committed repeatedly within a year. As a result, the Court fined Viniarski 10.5 mln rubles.
The case of another protester, Natallia Harachka, has been sent for revision, as her testimony differed greatly from what was told by a witness.
The charges against three more protesters, UCP leader Anatol Liabedzka, Volha Mayorava, and Mikalai Kazlou, will be considered on February 16.