Politician Sevyarynets, blogger Kazlou, European Belarus activists to stand trial on May 12

Activist Maksim Vinyarski (C), politician Pavel Sevyarynets (R)

On May 12, Mahiliou regional court is to start hearing the cases of the European Belarus civil campaign activists, blogger Zmitser Kazlou and opposition politician Pavel Sevyarynets.

Yauhen Afnahel, Pavel Yukhnevich, Maksim Vinyarski, Andrey Voynich are charged under Article 293 of the Criminal Code (‘preparation for participation or participation in mass riots’). Pavel Sevyarynets, a co-chairman of the Belarusian Christian Democracy party, and blogger Zmitser Kazlou aka Gray Cat are reported to be tried in Mahiliou together with European Belarus activists.

The trial will be held behind the closed doors, the Belarusian newspaper Nasha Niva reports.

Pavel Sevyarynets has been behind bars for over ten months. He was detained even before the elections – on June 7, when he was returning from a picket to collect signatures. Later, he was charged under part 1 of article 293 of the Criminal Code (‘organisation of mass riots’). The investigation into the case against the political prisoner ended only in February. The politician may face face from 3 to 8 years of imprisonment.

Zmitser Kazlou, a Youtuber from the town of Baran, was also detained in June. He was accused of ‘organization or active participation in group actions that grossly violate public order. under Article 342 of the Criminal Code of Belarus;

The Belarusian human rights community recognised the six men as political prisoners.

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