The Vitsebsk regional court has rejected Siarhei Kavalenka’s cassational appeal against the verdict delivered to him by the Pershamayski district court in Vitsebsk.
In May 2010 Siarhei Kavalenka received three-year suspended sentence for hanging out a white-red-white flag on the 40-meter New Year Tree in the center of Vitsebsk. This action was defined as «major violation of public order».On December 19, 2011 Kavalenka was arrested in connection with criminal proceedings under Art. 415 of the Criminal Code (evasion of liberty restraint service). On December 20, 2012 Siarhei Kavalenka started hunger-striking in protest.
On February 24, 2012 the Pershamayski district court in Vitsebsk chaired by judge Alena Zhuk sentenced the oppositionist to two years and one month in a low security correctional institution on a charge of violating probation rules.
The court started the consideration of case upon Kavalenka’s cassational appeal on April 10, 2012. Then a panel of Vitsebsk regional court ordered that Siarhei Kavalenka should be subjected to comprehensive mental examination in hospital environment and the oppositionist was moved to Navinki psychiatric hospital in Minsk district.
On April 13, 2012 Siarhei Kavalenka quit hunger-striking. According to his wife, the political prisoner made this step not to be found insane. But Kavalenka resumed it on May 8, 2012: he reiterated his protest against the unrighteous sentence and demands the release of all the political prisoners as well as using the national white-red-white flag and Pahonya emblem.
On May 16, 2012 the defence lawyer visited the political prisoner. According to his wife, Siarhei Kavalenka started losing weight again: at the moment he weighs about 60 kg. “Besides, he has taken notice of signs of diabetes, which might have been caused by forced glucose dosing during his hunger strike,” Alena Kavalenka said.