Minsk: Political prisoner Uladzislau Zyanevich sentenced to three years of restriction of liberty

On Tuesday, 20-year-old political prisoner Uladzislau Zyanevich has been sentenced him to three years of restriction of liberty in Leninski district court of Minsk, human rights centre Viasna reports. He is to be sent to an open-type correctional facility.

The guilty verdict was handed down by judge Maryna Zapasnik. Alyaksandr Ramanovich represented the prosecution.

Uladzislau Zyanevich, a Minsk resident and member of the anti-fascist movement, was accused of actively participating in group actions that violate public order (Article 342 of the Criminal Code) on November, 1. On that day, the March Against Terror was held throughout the country. According to the prosecutor’s version, he took part in an unauthorised mass event, chanted slogans, raised his hands, stepped onto the roadway which allegedly resulted in a transportation disruption.

Sunday’s protest against terror: Belarusians marching to Kurapaty (photos)

Zyanevich pleaded not guilty. He says that on November, 1 he saw a crowd walking on the roadway and the sidewalk in direction of Uskhod metro station. He was detained on his way home, not far from Chelyuskinites’ Park. The man stresses he never disturbed public order. The police officers severely beat him, on the following day, he stood trial and got a hefty fine on the back of the administrative protocol drawn up by the police.

On November 30, Uladzislau Zyanevich was arrested and charged under Art. 342; his flat was searched. Belarusian human rights watchdogs recognised him a political prisoner.

The defence lawyer believes that there is no evidence of Zyanevich’s guilt in the case materials.

“The charge is based on two videos. And we cannot say for sure that it is my client who appears in the videos,” he said.

The political prisoner refused to give testimony in court, referring to the right not to testify against himself. He did not make his last plea either.

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