On January 29, Zavadski district court of Minsk found 19-year-old Renata Smirnova guilty under Art. 342-1 of the Criminal Code (‘organising and preparing actions that grossly violate public order, or actively participating in them’).
A criminal case was opened in the wake of Renata’s showing up at the March Against Terror which took place in the Belarusian capital city on November, 1. When she was taken into custody, Belarusian human rights watchdogs recognised her as a political prisoner.
According to the investigators, the girl was clapping her hands for long, chanting slogans and standing in a human chain. Renata’s entering the road blocked the traffic, which caused financial damage (10,680 rubles) to the Minsk transport agency, the prosecution said. Renata pleaded not guilty.
“I cannot understand how my 8-minute standing on the road which had already been blocked by the police, could inflict a loss of 10K. Why am I to blame, there were lots of people. I think it is illogical,” the defendant said in court.
Judge Katsyaryna Murashka sentenced the girl to two years of restriction of liberty without being sent to a correctional facility, i.e. a kind of home confinement. Renata Smirnova was released in the courtroom.