14 Belarusian judges earlier on EU sanctions list involved in new judicial harassment
Fourteen Belarusian judges previously blacklisted by the EU for their role in the political persecution following the 2010 presidential election have been involved in more cases of judicial harassment against critics of the regime.
In particular, they convicted numerous peaceful demonstrators, civil society activists and journalists against the background of a wave of protests over the past few months.
Valery Yesman sentenced at least two detainees (on March 14 and March 16). He also sentenced Dzmitry Paliyenka ('the bicycle protester') in October 2016 to two-year suspended sentence. Following Paliyenka’s involvement in the Kurapaty protest, the suspended sentence has been replaced by a real prison term.
The HRC “Viasna” has registered 17 sentences handed down by him for protests between 1 January 2016 and 14 March 2017.
Viktar Kazak sentenced activist Pavel Vinahradau to a large fine over the 17 February 2017 ('parasite tax') protest. He later sentenced at least two detainees from the 25-26 March events, including Ales Lahvinets who was effectively 'pre-emptively' arrested.
Viasna documented 19 political sentences handed down by him between 1 January 2016 and 17 February 2017.
Tatsiana Motyl sentenced at least two detainees following the 25-26 March 2017 events, including a Belsat TV journalist who was covering the events.
Viasna registered 31 political sentences handed down by her between 1 January 2016 and 10 March 2017.
These judges were on the EU sanctions list for their particular involvement in political sentencing in 2010-2012.
On 15 February 2016, the EU Foreign Affairs Council decided to lift sanctions against 170 individuals and three companies in Belarus, despite no improvement of the situation with human rights.