15 more convicted over dancing protest in Brest
The Brest District Court has sentenced fifteen persons to various terms of imprisonment, mostly restricted freedom, over their involvement in a post-election protest that took place on September 13, 2020 in central Brest.
The convicts include two political prisoners: Hanna Baran and Uladzimir Hancharou. Both were sentenced to 18 months in a general-security penal colony.
The criminal case was opened after a water cannon dispersed several hundred peaceful protesters who blocked an intersection of two streets to dance and sing protest songs. Dozens faced criminal charges as a result.
According to the prosecution, the dancing protest “grossly violated public order.” The demonstrators also reportedly disobeyed orders from police officers, causing disruption of transport, businesses and organizations. In particular, the trolleybus and bus depots allegedly lost a total of 660 rubles (230 euros). Several street shops and a fast food restaurant were force to close for several hours.
This is one of the biggest political cases in the history of Belarus. 102 people have already been convicted in a series of eleven trials.