Political prisoner Kiryl Paulavets convicted, released from custody
Judge Maryna Fiodarava of the Saviecki District Court of Minsk has sentenced political prisoner Kiryl Paulavets to three years in an open penitentiary (“khimiya”), finding him guilty under Art. 342 of the Criminal Code (organization and preparation of actions that grossly violate public order, or active participation in them).
Paulavets was detained on October 4, 2020, after the March for the Release of Political Prisoners.
The next day, he was charged with participating in an unauthorized event (Article 23.34 of the Administrative Code) and disobeying police officers (Art. 23.4 of the Administrative Code). As a result, Paulavets was sentenced to 14 days in prison. After serving the sentence, he was not released, but faced criminal charges, instead, and was remanded in a pre-trial prison.
According to the indictment, during a protest held in Freedom Square in Minsk on August 30, Kiryl Paulavets called to join future demonstrations. By doing so, he allegedly obstructed traffic, especially buses.
On August 9, he allegedly again obstructed traffic (buses and trolleybuses).
The key witness for the prosecution, mentioned in the case file under an alias of Aliaksandr Aliaksandrau, a police officer at the Centraĺny district police department of Minsk, never appeared in court, despite a subpoena issued by the prosecutor.
The convict was released in the courtroom and will be free until his sentence is confirmed by a court of appeal.