Courts convict activists, journalists over protests Updated

2017 2017-03-13T16:51:24+0300 2017-03-13T18:37:16+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

The courts in a number of cities across Belarus, including Orša, Babrujsk and Brest have heard today administrative charges brought against peaceful protesters detained following yesterday’s protests. Several reporters were also detained and eventually found guilty of “illegal demonstrating” and other minor offenses.

A total of 18 journalists and bloggers were held by the police. Most of them were later released without charges, while some stood trials in Orša, Rahačoŭ and Brest.

Viktar Andreyeu was sentenced to 13 days in jail.

Halina Abakunchyk, reporter for RFE/RL’s Belarus service, was fined 690 rubles.

Katsiaryna Bakhvalava, journalist of the Belsat TV channel, was also fined 690 rubles on charges of “illegal demonstrating”, “resisting arrest” and “illicit manufacture of media products.”

Protesters Andrei Dzeniushkin, Ruslan Khalikau and Dzmitry Liauchuk were sentenced to 5 days in jail each on charges of “disorderly conduct”. Kanstantsin Kopats was imprisoned for 15 days.

Short jail terms were also ordered for Andrei Yurkou (2 days), Vasil Berasneu (14 days), Maksim Lubinski (5 days).

A number of cases will be heard tomorrow, including those against Maksim Buinitski in Babrujsk and Dzmitry Harbunou in Brest.

Meanwhile, police officers in Babrujsk detained Yury Hryniavetski, activist of the Belarusian Social Democratic Party, and Inha Sudzilouskaya. Both will stand trials on March 16.

Pavel Seviarynets, co-chair of the Belarusian Christian Democracy, has been sentenced to 15 days in jail.

Maksim Filipovich, a blogger in Homieĺ, has been sentenced to 13 days of arrest for his involvement in a protest on March 11.

Trade union activist Viktar Rubtsou has been sentenced to 14 days in jail for organizing a protest in Homieĺ.