Sanctions lifted, protesters fined: Opposition leader Lyabedzka punished for solidarity

On Wednesday Maskouski district court of Minsk fined Anatol Lyabedzka, the chairman of the United Civic Party, and Iryna Yaskevich, a Vitsebsk-based activist of the entrepreneurs’ movement, 50 and 25 basic units respectively (Br 10.5 and 5.25 mln).

Lyabedzka and Yaskevich were charged with violating the order of organizing or holding mass events (Art. 23.34 of the Belarusian Administrative Code). The both participated in the action of support of Belarusian market vendors that took place in Independence Square in Minsk on January, 18.

In addition, fines were imposed on 67-year-old pensioner Nina Bahinskaya (Br 6.3 mln) and activist Artur Adamyan (Br 5.25 mln) in absentia, Anatol Lyabedzka told news agencyBelapan.

This is the second time Lyabedzka has been punished over the past week. On February 16, he was fined 50 basic units for taking part in a rally against police brutality.

On February 15, the European Union lifted sanctions on Belarusian authorities after noticing ‘some improvement’ in the human rights situation in Belarus. But when the Belarusian authorities continue to breach human rights law, sanctions may return, the EU warned.

It is to be recalled that the Constitution of Belarus guarantees the people’s right to peaceful assembly.

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