Brest: Nine persons, including two minors, get harsh sentences over post-election protests

Brest, 10 March 2021. Photo:

On March 10, nine persons were convicted in Maskouski district court of Brest as part of the ‘mass riots’ case. Journalists and human rights activists were not let into the courtroom.

Judge Vera Filonik found that the guilt of all the defendants was proved and imposed the sentences which were earlier demanded by the public prosecutor. None of them pleaded guilty.

In accordance with the prosecution’s version, the defendants ‘grossly violated public order and staged riots’ on August 10, during the ‘unauthorised mass event in the centre of Brest’. As a result, one police officer reportedly got minor hand injuries; a radio set was taken away from another officer, protesters also tore his shoulder straps torn off. Another 25 officers were beaten, the authorities claim.

Not everyone who wanted to was allowed to be present at announcing verdict. Brest, 10 March 2021. Photo:

Charged under Art. 293-2 of the Criminal Code (‘participation mass in riots’), the convict received the following sentences:

  • Tsimur Ryzapur, Illya Mihno – 4.5 years in a medium-security penal colony;
  • Alyaksandr Drazdou, Syarhei Salokha, Yahor and Vitaly Prokopchuk – 4 years in a medium-security penal colony;
  • Syarhei Kryuchenya – 3.5 years in a medium-security penal colony;
  • Syarhei Hatskevich, Dzyanis Khazey (minors) – 3 years in a juvenile correctional facility

It has not been a trial, but the reprisal against our children. They took to the streets to stick to their demands, and it is Alyaksandr Ryhoravich [Lukashenka] who lost the election. Our children did nothing wrong until the police provoked them into taking action. March 10 will go down in history as the reprisal against the participants, the young people who were given harsh sentences,” Anatol Mihno, the father of one of the convicts, said.

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