On August 25, Smarhon district court passed a guilty verdict in the case of Andrey Pyatrouski, a former teacher of history and social studies at a local school, human rights centre Viasna reports.
The 46-year-old man was charged under Part 1 of Art. 367 of the Criminal Code (‘slander against the president’).
Andrey Pyatrouski has about 20 years of work experience, he used to taught history and social studies. On March 12, he showed the film ‘The Constitution has gone into prostitution!’ made by the source which is recognised as extremist by the Belarusian authorities to 11-graders. Among the schoolers there was a local official’s son who recorded the fragment of the lesson with his mobile phone and sent the video to his parents. On the back of the situation, the teacher was fired and a criminal case was opened.
According to the prosecution’s version, the above mentioned film ‘contains knowingly false information that discredits the president’, e.g. the words ‘bloody dictator’ as well as ‘defamatory’ information about Alyaksandr Lukashenka‘s being unobservant of a number of articles of the Constitution of Belarus.
Judge Lyudmila Mikhnevich took heed of prosecutor Andrey Klyshevich’s demand and sentenced the former teacher to 1.5 years of imprisonment in a minimum security penal colony. Andrey Pyatrouski pleaded not guilty.