Anarchists receive lengthy prison terms over Molotov cocktail attack
Two activists describing themselves as anarchists were sentenced yesterday to seven years in a maximum-security penal colony following a trial that found them guilty on two counts of criminal hooliganism.
Mikita Yemialiyanau and Ivan Komar, both 19, were convicted by the Saviecki District Court of vandalizing the city court building with light bulbs filled with paint and throwing a Molotov cocktail at the door of the pre-trial prison in central Minsk. Both acts were reportedly aimed to express solidarity with their fellow anarchist and former political prisoner Dzmitry Paliyenka, who was at the time awaiting trial on trumped-up charges.
The damage caused as a result of the two attacks was estimated at a total of 144.48 rubles (USD 66) and was paid in full ahead of the trial.
Yemialiyanau pleaded partially guilty, while Komar maintained that he was not directly involved in the offense but only filmed the attack. He also claimed that he was forced to incriminate himself as a result of repeated threats from the investigators and violence by other prisoners. In particular, Komar said that he was beaten by his cellmate who threatened to rape the activist.