Fine for T-shirt


A district judge in Minsk on September 30 sentenced four men to fines for wearing T-shirts bearing an image of imprisoned former presidential candidate Mikalay Statkevich.

Yawhen Naporka, Maksim Dubowski, Andrey Vislovich and Kiryl Zhyvalovich, all of whom represent a website covering local news in the capital city’s neighborhood of Serabranka, were each fined two million rubels ($220).
The young men put on the T-shirts to take part in a Challenge Cup running race but were apprehended by police before the start.

Mr. Zhyvalovich was released on the same day, while the remaining three men were taken to a detention center and freed in the courtroom after their trials.

“We view the sentences as unfair and plan to appeal them to a higher court,” said Mr. Zhyvalovich.

“We were not going to turn our participation in the run into a political event,” Mr. Zhyvalovich told BelaPAN shortly after his arrest. “By wearing the T-shirts, we wanted to display our support for the former presidential candidate. We were not bothering festival participants with any questions, were not distributing any leaflets and were not staging any demonstration.”

jb/Biłsat/Belapan

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