On Wednesday, Pavel Vinahradau, an author of one of Belsat TV satirical shows and former political prisoner, has been sentenced to 15 days of administrative arrest.
According to the authorities’ version, the blogger published a post on Facebook in which he egged on Belarusians to participate in protests.
On July 5, the police made an unexpected visit to Pavel Vinahradau’s house in the town of Berazino and carried out an ‘indoor inspection’, i.e. search. On the same day, the blogger was detained.
A bit later, Pavel’s father Yury Vinahradau said on Facebook that his son was being taken to a temporary detention centre. He is expected to be tried under Article 24.23 of the Code of Administrative Offences (‘violating rules of holding or organising mass events’) for allegedly participating in an unauthorised rally. Computer equipment was seized during the raid.
When reached by Belsat, Yury suggested that the case against his son was launched on the back of Pavel’s post in which he criticized emigre politician Pavel Latushka for his calling on Belarusians to take to the streets on May 9, when Victory Day is celebrated in Belarus. However, apart from a number of pickets, there were no mass protests either on May 9 or May 10. Yury Vinahradau believes that the post was just a flimsy excuse for the detention, and the real reason is the security officers‘ wish to retaliate against his son.