Minsk City Court confirms sentence for Dzmitry Paliyenka
The Minsk City Court has rejected an appeal filed against a two-year suspended sentence earlier imposed on Dzmitry Paliyenka for his involvement in the Critical Mass cycling protest in April 2016. The sentence has entered into force.
According to a ruling of the court of Centraĺny district of Minsk, the convict is subject to certain restrictions.
Dzmitry Paliyenka was accused of allegedly tearing the jacket of a traffic policeman during the dispersal of the rally, although at the trial none of the witnesses could confirm that it was done by Paliyenka. However, Judge Valery Yesman found the activist guilty. Before the trial, Paliyenka spent five months in custody, which was criticized by the human rights activists as a disproportionate measure.
According to the Human Rights Center "Viasna", the criminal charges against Dzmitry Paliyenka were linked to his exercising of the right to freedom of peaceful assembly. The verdict underscores the need for reforming the legislation governing the implementation of constitutional rights, including freedom of assembly, experts say.