Activist Dzmitry Paliyenka to serve 18 months in prison as court revokes suspended sentence
Dzmitry Paliyenka, an activist awarded a 2-year suspended sentence for his involvement in the Critical Mass cycling protest in April 2016, will spend 18 months of the term in prison, after the Zavodski District Court of Minsk revoked today the suspension over alleged violations of related restrictions.
The activist was accused of failing to find a job by this February. Paliyenka argues that he was rejected by all the employers, despite references from an employment service.
According to a police inspector, who supervised the activist’s suspended sentence, Paliyenka’s record features four violations. These include two administrative penalties imposed for his involvement in public activity. On March 10, Paliyenka was sentenced to seven days in jail for alleged disorderly conduct following his detention in the courtroom, after he publicly protested against a verdict handed down in so-called ‘case of antifascists’. On March 20, he was sentenced by the Court of Zavodski District of Minsk to 15 days of administrative detention for protesting against the construction of an office building next to the Kurapaty memorial site in Minsk.
On the day Dzmitry Paliyenka was expected to be released after serving his latest administrative penalty, he was sentenced to another 10 days of detention on trumped-up charges and remained in the Žodzina jail. Human rights activists say this was done in order to hold the activist pending today's court decision.
As a result, the court quashed the suspension of the initial sentence. Taking into account the time spent in pretrial detention, the activist will have to serve 18 months and 13 days. The judgment cannot be appealed.