Homiel: Underage person with epilepsy gets 5-year jail term over ‘mass riots’

Mikita Zalatarou. Homiel, 22 February 2021. Photo: Belsat

On Monday, 16-year-old Belarusian Mikita Zalatarou has been sentenced to 5 years of imprisonment, our correspondent reports from a Homiel court.

The verdict of guilty was delivered by judge Dmitry Deboy.

Judge Dzmitry Deboy delivering verdict. Homiel, 22 February 2021. Photo: Belsat
Sentence in ‘mass riots’ case. Homiel, 22 February 2021. Photo: Belsat

Another two men were convicted together with the teenager: 25-year-old Dzmitry Karneyeu got an 8-year prison term, 28-year-old Leanid Kavaliou – 6 years. Public prosecutor Yauhen Fartushnyak demanded Zalatarou be sentenced to 6 years in jail, Kavaliou – to 7 years, Karneyeu – to 8 years.

They were punished under Art. 364 of the Criminal Code (‘using ciolence against the police’). The three residents of Homiel, Homiel district, Dobrush were charged with participating in mass riots, violence against the police, committing illegal actions with combustible flammables (so-called Molotov cocktails); Leanid Kavaliou was also accused of ‘involving a minor in wrongdoing’.

Mikita Zalatarou suffers from epilepsy. The young man and his father say that Mikita was beaten in the both police station and pre-trial detention centre in August and late December. In turn, the officials claim the internal check showed no elements of the violence against the arrestee. According to Mikita, the prison authorities also refuse to provide him with anti-epileptic drugs.

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