Minsk court convicts pro-Ukraine protesters
The police department of the Tsentralny district of Minsk hosted today a trial of several protesters who were detained yesterday for honoring the memory of people killed during Euromaidan events taking place in the fall and winter of 2013–2014. They were accused of staging an unauthorized mass event (Art. 23.34 of the Administrative Code).
Last evening, about 15 people lit candles and laid flowers at the monument to Taras Shevchenko near the Embassy of Ukraine in Minsk. They displayed a large portrait of Mikhail Zhyzneuski, a Belarusian national, was killed during the Euromaidan events. As a result, the protesters were detained by riot police immediately after the rally was over and brought to the police station. Some of the picketers said law enforcement officers used physical force against them.
According to Radio Liberty’s Belarus service, four people were released after midnight: Nina Bahinskaya, Dzmitry Zakharevich, Yury Vauchok, Valery Charnamortsau. Others were held at the police department: Volha Mikalaichyk, Aliaksandr Makayeu, Yauhen Batura, Maksim Viniarski and Mikalai Kolas.
As reported by activist Maksim Viniarski in his Facebook account, police officers prevented people from joining the picket, and reportedly threatened them with detention and violence.
The released activists asked representatives of the Embassy of Ukraine to pay attention to the fact that after their detention police officers insulted Ukraine and Ukrainians.
As a result, the trial was held behind closed doors. Human rights defender Nasta Loika tried to leave an entry in the book of complaints, but was thrown out of the room.
Judge Viktoryia Shabunia sentenced Maksim Viniarski and Ales Makayeu to 15 days of arrest each.
Mikalai Kolas and Yauhen Batura were sentenced to 10 days in jail.
Film director Volha Mikalaichyk was arrested for five days.
Nina Bahinskaya was tried in the Tsentralny District Court. As a result, she was fined 3.6 mln rubles.