Zhlobin: Another minor sentenced in Belarus

Buildng of Zhlobin district court. Photo: Viasna

On June 28, 16-year-old Daniil Kalesnikau was sentenced to 1 year and 3 months in a juvenile correction facility, human rights centre Viasna reports.

The youngster was accused of organising or actively participating in group actions that grossly violate public order (Article 342 of the Criminal Code). On the night of August 10, Daniil and his father Vital Kalesnikau came to the centre of Zhlobin with other peaceful protesters; they were standing there together in the front row.

Earlier, Daniil’s father was convicted first for disorderly conduct (Article 339), involving a minor in a crime (Article 172), organising and participating in actions that grossly violate public order.

In 2021, Daniil Kalesnikau finished a local school in the town of Barysau.

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In September 2020, the Prosecutor General’s Office of Belarus announced that parents would be punished for their children’s taking part in ‘unauthorised mass events’, and the minors might be taken away from their families. The parental responsibility for ‘illegal’ behaviour of their kids is to be increased in severity, Deputy Prosecutor General Alyaksei Stuk warned.

Ahead of the six-month anniversary on 9 February of the start of protests in the country, Amnesty International stressed that the Belarusian authorities kept resorting to threats, harassment and prosecution of children in an increasingly desperate attempt to suppress dissent.

The Belarusian authorities have repeatedly threatened journalist Larysa Shchyrakova, a Belsat TV contributor and single mother, to take away her 13-year-old son. When she was detained and interrogated amid the post-election protests in the country, the police said the boy might be sent to orphanage.

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