Vitsebsk activist fined for ‘holding mass gathering’ on her own balcony

A Vitsebsk court imposed a fine of 675 rubles on activist Tatsyana Sevyarynets for participating in an ‘unauthorised mass event’. However, it is known that the woman was staying at home at that moment.

On August 30, Tatsyana and her husband Kanstantsin went out into the balcony of their flat on the sixth floor and waved a white-red-white flag, greeting the participants in Sunday’s solidarity march. The couple was accompanied by local blogger Alena Yanushkouskaya.

“When being in a public place – on her flat’s balcony – she took an active part in the rally, i.e. she expressed her political views by using white-red-white cloth, drew the attention of passers-by, showed hand gestures,” the protocol drawn upon Tatsyana reads.

‘Unauthorised event’: Priest tried over paying tribute to alleged post-election victim

During the trial, the judge asked if Tatsyana Sevyarynets had applied for the local authorities’ permission to hold a ‘mass gathering’. The question made the attendees in the courtroom laugh.

“Is my home a ‘public place’? Should I ask the district administration for permission to step out onto the balcony?” the defendant countered. But the court failed to take her arguments into account.

The woman will have to pay the fine off; her husband received a warning. Alena Yanushkouskaya got a penalty of 945 rubles for the ‘picket on the balcony’ a few weeks ago.

Tatsyana and Kanstantsin are the parents of Belarusian opposition politician and political prisoner Pavel Sevyarynets who has been jailed since early June.

Opposition politician Sevyarynets may be held behind bars until after election