Belarus authorities warn protesters of criminal liability for blocking roads

A protest rally that took place on Sunday evening in downtown Minsk has come to the attention of the authorities.

On January 3, about two dozen people held a rally on Ramanauskaya Slabada Street. Protesters carrying with white-red-white flags blocked traffic for some time.

“Law enforcement officers are taking measures to identify all the persons involved in the deliberate blocking of transport communications; they are also assessing the damage resulting from illegal actions,” the press service of the Minsk City Department of Internal Affairs reports.

According to them, any intentional blocking of transport communications may entail both administrative and criminal liability. A criminal case is to be opened if such actions caused someoone’s death or if the damage done is grave.

Notably, over the past protest months, the Belarusian law enforcement agencies have repeatedly defined stepping out onto the road as ‘organisation or active participation in group actions that grossly violate public order’ (Art. 342 of the Criminal Code).

The probe materials will be submitted to Belarus’ Investigative Committee, the Minsk police add.

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