Courts continue to coin politically motivated verdicts, some of which are severe, and some are a bit milder. But all of them are equally unjust.
A presidential candidate Uladzimer Nyaklyaeu has been sentenced to 2 years’ imprisonment with 2 years’ suspension of execution, members of his team Syarhei Vaznyak, Alyaksandr Fyaduta, Andrei Dzmitryeu – to 2 years of conditional imprisonment.
Vital Rymasheuski was sentenced to 2 years of conditional sentence, and an activist of his headquarters Anastasiya Palazhanka – to 1 year of conditional sentence with a year on probation.
The verdict has been delivered by judge Zhana Zhukouskaya. Prosecutor Andrei Kazheunikau asked the court to sentence Uladzimir Nyaklyaeu to 3 years of imprisonment with two-year suspension of execution, Andrei Dzmitryeu (Dmitriev) to 3 years’ imprisonment with a probation period of 2 years, Alyaksandr Fyaduta – to 2 years’ imprisonment with a two-year suspension of execution, Syarhei Vaznyak –to 2 years’ imprisonment in a open type institution with a two-year suspension of execution, Vital Rymasheuski – 2 years of conditional sentence with 2 years’ suspension of execution, Anastasia Palazhanka - to 18 months of conditional sentence with a year of probation period.
The “milder” approach is explained by the fact that they were not charged with “mass riots”, but with “participation in group actions blatantly violating mass order.” The punishment under this article is up to 3 years of imprisonment.
The entire court trial in the case of the 6 defendants was mostly focused on the trial of the cases of Uladzimir Nyaklyaeu’s “Tell the Truth!” campaign team. In particular, the issues of the campaign financing were the one most examined in the court.
Alyaksandr Fyaduta, Syarhei Vaznyak and Andrei Dzmitryeu’s confessionary statements, which had been made by them during investigation, as the prosecutor claimed, have caused a grave scandal. Financing of Nyaklyaeu’s election campaign was in question. Defendants stated that they had been intimidated during the investigation, and refused to comment on this testimony as irrelevant.
The lawyers stated accusations against the presidential candidates Nyaklyaeu and Rymasheuski, and to members of their election teams, were groundless. According to the lawyers, the position of prosecution by default makes the rally held on December 19 a flagrant violation of public order. However, from the start the standard procedure of holding mass rallies is impossible for implementation, as holding mass rallies on October Square is banned by a decision of Minsk city executive committee. However, mass events are held there, and the square is appropriate for them.
Every person who came to the square on December 19, had a right to consider one’s actions legal, as it was a realization of one’s constitutional right.
We remind that Andrei Sannikov, a presidential candidate in Belarus, was sentenced to 5 years of imprisonment in a colony with a reinforced regime. His team is punished much harsher too, one of Sannikov’s campaign chiefs, Zmitser Bandarenka, has been sentenced to 2 years of imprisonment in a standard regime penal colony, though the article under which he is convicted had been changed for a one with a milder punishment. Alyaksandr Atroshchankau, a spokesperson of Sannikov, has been sentenced to 4 years of colony with a reinforced regime. Activists of the candidate’s campaign headquarters were sentenced to 3-4 years of imprisonment.