The Vitsebsk police drew a protocol upon Natallya Spirydonava, accusing her of urging people to take part in unauthorised mass events, local human rights activists report.
At the end of 2019, Spirydonava published the information about an anti-integration rally which was to take place in Vitsebsk on December, 29.
The protocol reads that the woman published calls for holding mass events in Victory Square in Vitsebsk. Since there was no permission for staging the rally, the police officers charged Spirydonava with violating Article 8 of the law ‘On Mass Events’.
According to the Belarusian Code of Administrative Offenses, the violation is punishable by a fine (up to 1,350 rubles), or by simple detention.
Amid the reports about deepening the integration of Belarus and Russia, a number of peaceful rallies were held in Minsk and regions in December. Although President Alyaksandr Lukashenka repeatedly expressed his readiness to uphold the independence of the country, the rubber-stamping Belarusian courts slapped fines on about 60 persons who took up to the streets voicing their protest in view of a growing threat to the sovereignty of Belarus. Officially, the protesters were tried for ‘participating in unauthorised mass events’ (Art. 23.34 of the Code of Administrative Offenses). The total sum of the penalties amounted to 55,000 Belarusian rubles (appr. $27,000).