18 January 2018, Thursday, 8:50

5 days in custody for action to defend Belarusian language

Sculptor Henik Loika has been sentenced to five days in custody for a picket for Belarusian language in gymnasium No. 4 in Minsk.

Judge Lyudmila Lappo found him guilty of violating the law on mass events, Radio Svaboda reports. She said in the court decision on the basis of policemen's words that Henik Loika had shouted “Speak Belarusian” and “We need to struggle for the Belarusian language”.

The judge demanded the defendant and his lawyer to speak Russian that violates the country's constitution.

It should be reminded that Loika raised a banner “Congratulate on Mother Language Day. Gymnasium No. 4 was the last with the Belarusian language of instruction” at the entrance of gymnasium No. 4 in Minsk today.

Policemen were watching the picket. Henik Loika told to journalists about Russification of the educational system. The gymnasium c its rules last year allowing to teach in Russian. Loika ended his picket and went away. He later said on the phone he had been detained by police.