Election echo: more activists convicted of illegal protesting
At least eight opposition activists have been found guilty of joining the illegal demonstrations held in central Minsk in November.
Pavel Seviarynets, leader of the Belarusian Christian Democracy party, was fined 1,275 rubles ($600) for protesting on November 16. After the trial, Seviarynets was taken to the police department where he faced new charges linked to a protest held on November 7.
The same penalty was awarded to former candidate Volha Nikalaichyk, who was found guilty of calling voters to join the November 15 protest.
The three protests dubbed “Meetings of Free Men” were staged against the backdrop of the parliamentary elections, which were criticized by domestic observers for lack of equal conditions, including through access to public media.
The demonstrations were not allowed by the city authorities and dozens of protesters faced administrative charges. Some of them have already been convicted, while others are yet to stand trials.
Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections condemned the post-election crackdown on peaceful protesters as “undisguised political repression” that “further highlights the undemocratic nature of the elections”.