Political prisoner Andrei Linnik sentenced to 4 years in prison for attending peaceful protest
On November 8, the Maskoŭski District Court of Minsk sentenced political prisoner Andrei Linnik to four years in a medium-security penal colony for participating in a protest on election night, August 9, 2020.
Linnik, 32, has been detained since August 4, 2021. The guy was arrested as a suspect in a criminal case of “participating in riots”.
The trial started on November 4. The case was considered by judge Katsiaryna Murashka.
According to the prosecutor, on August 9, 2020, Andrei Linnik “took part in mass riots, which were accompanied by violence, pogroms, arson, destruction of property and armed resistance.”
Linnik admitted to attending the protest after he read an online publication advertising a peaceful rally of those who disagreed with the results of the presidential election.
“I did not plan to take part in any mass riots,” the defendant said. “I did not see any information that the rally was banned.”
Andrei also said that he had not heard any calls from the police to disperse.
He also confirmed that he shouted slogans, hit several garbage cans and made an impolite sign by raising his middle finger towards a police officer.
Human rights defenders continue to insist that the August 2020 gatherings did not pose a threat to either national or public security. This means that protesters cannot be prosecuted for “rioting”.