Belarusian authorities make penalties for protesting more rigorous

OMON riot police in Pinsk. 10 August 2020. Photo:

On June 8, the National Legal Portal published the law “On Amendments to Codes in Criminal Matters.” The most of them will take effect in ten days, and the rest will work in three months.

The new law introduces criminal liability for establishing ‘extremist groups’ and participating in them, financing ‘extremist’ activities and promoting them. Moreover, the authorities are set to punish citizens under the Criminal Code for repeated violations of rules holding mass events and ‘illegal collection and distribution of personal details’.

In addition, the lawmakers upgraded the responsibility for killing a police officer or a serviceman and as well as for violence or threats against security officers and judges. One will also face more drastic penalties for resisting police officers and publicly insulting government officials.

There will also be tougher sentences for organising riots or participating in them, for publicly calling for unsanctioned rallies, for deliberately blocking roads.

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