24 March 2019, Sunday, 2:53
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Eduard Palchys Released In Court Hall

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EDUARD PALCHYS
PHOTO: RADIO LIBERTY

The blogger’s release has been accompanied with the “Long Live Belarus!” chanting.

The sentence to blogger Eduard Palchys(Jhon Silver, founder of the website 1863x.com) has been pronounced in the Minsk city court today.

About 100 people have come to the court for the sentence pronouncing, including coordinator of the “European Belarus” campaign Yauhen Afnahel, leader of the “Young Front” Zmitser Dashkevich, Co-Chairman of the steering committee for creating the party “Belarusian Christian Democracy” Pavel Seviarynets, activists Pavel Yukhnevich, Anton Matolka, Ihar Losik, Radio Liberty reports.

The sentence to Eduard Palchys has actually been pronounced on his birthday – the blogger turns 26 today.

The trial started on October 14 and was held in the closed regime. The prosecutor demanded to send him to prison for 3,5 years.

In the end, the creator of the website 1863x.com has been sentenced to a year and nine months of liberty limitation without sending to a specialized facility.

After the sentence was pronounced, Eduard Palchys has been released from the metallic enclosure to the shouts of glee of all the present in the court hall. The people have chanted “Long Live Belarus!” and unfolded white-red-white flags.

Palchys has been released under a non-leave obligation.

PHOTO: RADIO LIBERTY

After release, the people greeted Eduard Palchys with the chants “Long Live Belarus!” and wished him a happy birthday.

Eduard Palchys has thanked everyone for their support in the court corridor.

“I don’t think of myself as a hero. It was you who made all this happen. My release is the merit of all of you, all who wrote about me. We will fight for everyone. People should never go to jail over politics.” Eduard has also expressed his condolences to the family and close people of murdered journalist Pavel Sheremet.

After release, Eduard Palchys has been taking pictures with the activists who have continued picketing the court.

PHOTO: RADIO LIBERTY

Eduard Palchys stood trial for his writings: the court found “extremism” in nine of them, and “distribution of pornography” – in one.

The criminal case against Eduard Palchys was started back in 2015. He left for Ukraine that autumn, but then, according to his wife, he decided to return to Belarus. He presumed he might be arrested at the Ukrainian-Belarusian border so he went home via Russia, where he was detained in the end.

On January 23, 2016 Palchys was placed in the pre-trial detention center in Bryansk region, Russia. In June, he was extradited to Belarus.

The Belarusian patriots have spent all the time of his trial under the Minsk city court walls, holding the action demanding to release the blogger. The campaign of support of Eduard Palchys has become the longest opposition action since 2007.