Minsk City Court has announced the verdict on the case of Jhon Silver – 1 year and 9 months of supervised release. Due to the fact that Palchys spent considerable part of this term in jail, he has 1 month of “house arrest” – on his own recognizance not to leave.
Eduard Palchys left the courtroom, thanked everyone for support. “If not for the public, journalists, none of your solidarity, I’m sure I would not have been released,” said Eduard. He also asked to convey sympathy to the family and relatives of Pavel Sheremet. When the TV journalist was killed, Palchys was already in jail.
The ex-political prisoner is not going to shut down his 1863x.com blog.
“Anyone who wants to write for this blog, will be able to do this, it will be the “people’s website”. And everyone will be able to ‘earn an article’ Eduard joked.
Standing on the porch of the Minsk City Court, Palchys spoke to those who came to support him. The blogger said he did not consider himself a hero: “you are true heroes, thanks to you, I was released!”
Palchys added that he intends to fight for the liberation of all political prisoners, listing the names of Andrei Bandarenka, Uladzimir Kondrus and Mikail Zhamchuzhny.
The verdict announcement was public, even though the process initiated by the Investigation Committee was closed.
The prosecutor wanted for Eduard Palchys 3.5 years of imprisonment.
All this time, blogger and founder of the 1863x.com website had been supported by family, friends, activists and public figures. Every day, protesters gathered near the Minsk City Court to chant slogans for his support. Police drew protocols for disorderly conduct — more than 50 protocols were drawn last week.
This level of support came as a surprise for both the blogger and his wife. Victoryia Palchys believes that her husband was supposed to become “a bargaining chip in the game of the Belarusian authorities”.
The 25-year-old Eduard Palchys was accused of inciting hatred on grounds of race, nationality, religion, language, or other social affiliation (Par. 1, Art. 130 of the Criminal Code). Human rights activists, bloggers examined the blogger’s publications and did not find any extremism in them. Palchys was called a political prisoner.