Wounded protester sentenced to 18 months in colony

Yauhen Kuzmyankou was pronounced guilty of being in the crowd, thus “obstructing the traffic” and of “shouting slogans and making loud claps.”

Sample photo. People are running after the explosion of two flash-bang grenades in Minsk, Belarus. August 9, 2020. Photo: AV / Vot Tak TV / Belsat

A Minsk court has passed a verdict in the case of Yauhen Kuzmyankou on October 8, reports the human rights center “Viasna”.

Judge Syarhei Shatsila sentenced him to a year and a half in a minimum-security colony.

Kuzmyankou pleaded guilty and repented. According to the indictment, he participated in the protests on August 9 and September 6. There, according to the charges, he “grossly violated public order”: he was in the crowd on the road, shouting slogans and clapping his hands.

On the night of August 9-10, Kuzmyankou and his friends went to a protest in Minsk. When the security forces started shooting at people with stun grenades, he got wounded in the neck. He thinks it was from a rubber bullet. When he started bleeding, he gathered his friends and left, sitting in the yard until morning. On 6 September he went again to the peaceful protest.

At the trial, Kuzmyankou said that he was indifferent to politics and that he was a soccer fan. He went out on the road when “everyone was rushing there.” He had previously been prosecuted in unnamed cases and was sentenced in 2013 and 2019.

The Minsktrans estimated the damage from the protester’s actions at 26,122 rubles and 60 kopecks. The claim was satisfied in full.