Catholic priest sentenced to 10 days in jail for criticizing authorities

Vyachaslau Barok, a Catholic priest from Rasony, has been sentenced to 10 days of arrest. The authorities considered that the collage “Stop Lukashism” in the colors of the official flag and with the image of the official coat of arms of the Republic of Belarus was Nazi symbols, and the priest was thus guilty under administrative article 17.10 (propaganda of Nazi symbols).

“The verdict is illegal. They are criminals. I don’t regret it. Long live Belarus!” said the priest leaving the court, when the policemen took him to the place of detention.

Priest from Rasony Vyachaslau Barok has a YouTube channel and does not hide his views on events in Belarus.

“The authorities have compromised themselves with their actions that do not fit into the boundaries of the legal field, undermining confidence in all state institutions. In such a situation, whatever they do, everything only gets worse for them. There is only one correct way: to announce new elections. And, of course, make them transparent,” the priest noted in his comments to Belsat.

Priest Vyachaslau Barok during prayer at the burial place of victims of Soviet terror. Photo: Maryna Sinkevich,

Earlier, priest Vyachaslau had already been forced to go to the Investigative Committee for an “conversation”, allegedly as a witness in a criminal case, but he was asked questions about his YouTube channel.

“Why did they switch from a criminal case to an administrative one? Unless they did not dare to launch a criminal offense, because they do not know what to make of it. They want to shut mouths of the preachers, but do not know how,” says the priest.

He believes that pressure is being exerted on him only because he gives a moral assessment to the actions of the authorities.

Earlier, for expressing his opinion, the highest Catholic hierarch of the country, Metropolitan Tadeusz Kondrusiewicz, was deprived of the right to return to Belarus; Catholic Bishop Yury Kasabutski received a warning from the prosecutor’s office.

Several Catholic and Orthodox priests have been arrested for taking part in mass protests against lawlessness and violence.

Alyaksandr Helahayeu /