Teacher temporarily released after conviction on protesting charges
The Lieninski District Court of Minsk sentenced political prisoner Aliaksei Minau to three years of restricted freedom in an open penitentiary (“khimiya”). The convict was released in the courtroom to wait for an appeal hearing.
Judge Yuliya Shut found Minau guilty of taking part in an “unauthorized event” in Minsk on August 9, 2020. According to the indictment, he took part in “group actions that grossly violated public order,” “disobeyed orders from police officers,” and “obstructed the work of transport and businesses.” He also allegedly shouted slogans, clapped his hands and displayed a “white-red-white cloth.”
Aliaksei pleaded guilty, but disagreed about the amount of the lawsuit filed by Minsktrans, the municipal transport operator allegedly affected by the post-election protests. He said he attended the August 9 protest because he was “curious.” When security forces arrived, he left the place.
The defense lawyer stressed that his client was not guilty and asked to acquit him. He said that the prosecution failed to prove that Minau was at the scene of the protest.
Aliaksei Minau is an author and a teacher of Belarusian language and literature.
He was arrested on August 25, 2021 and soon charged under Art. 342 of the Criminal Code. A graduate of the Department of Philology at the Belarusian State University, Minau started working in high school while still being a student. The day of his arrest was to be his first day as a teacher at the BSU’s Lyceum.