17 January 2018, Wednesday, 16:22

Fine for a photo with Byalyatski's portrait

Activist Yauheny Parchynski from Navapolatsk has been fined 500,000 rubles.

He was found guilty of holding an unsanctioned picket. The trial was conducted by chairman of the Navapolatsk city court Pyotr Lyauchonak, who decided that taking pictures with a portrait of Ales Byalyatski violated the law on mass events, Viasna human rights centre informs.

“I didn't protest. They asked if I had taken a photo with the portrait of Byalyatski. I answered that I had done so to show my solidarity with him. I posted the photos on the Internet to show my solidarity with the human rights activists from Hrodna, who were fined for the similar photos on the Internet on January 5,” says Yauheny Parchynski, the editor of the local independent website freeregion.info.

Another Navapolatsk activist, a member of the organising committee to create BCD party, Syarhei Malashonak, was also tried. His case was heard by judge Zoya Balabolava, who already fined the activist on October 9, 2012, for an attempt to hang out a banner “Freedom for political prisoners”.

The judge sustained activist's motion to appoint a lawyer and postponed the trial until January 29.

“I will try to prove that taking photos is not a mass event. We did it for ourselves. We didn't try to attract someone's attention. Otherwise, they can convict anyone for taking pictures with a portrait of, for example,  Alyaksandr Lukashenka. As for posting our photos on the Internet, this is not evidence of violating the law on mass events,” Syarhei  Malashonak says.

The judge said the evidence of the offence was the photos made at the entrance of the city police department and the photos with Yauheny Parchynski at the entrance of the city court building. Both activists were holding portraits of Ales Byalyatski.