Thursday: 36 persons get jail terms, fines for taking part in peaceful protests

On September 10, Belarusian courts drew penalties upon 36 people for their participating in ‘unauthorised mass events’ that took place from August 27 to September 9, human rights centre Viasna reports. Over the past few weeks, the protesters’ cases have been heard every day.

In total, 116 days of arrest and nearly 23,000 Belarusian rubles were imposed on the accused on Thursday. Among them, there were medical students detained the day before in Malinauka residential area, and other participants in protests against election fraud. The heftiest penalties were 15 days in jail and a fine of 1,350 rubles.

On Thursday evening, solidarity chains and rallies were held in Minsk; in some places, including Independence Square and Serabranka residential area, the police grabbed a number of protesters.

In turn, Alyaksandr Lukashenka’s supporters staged a rally in the city centre. It was attended, among others, by favourers of Tsarism, pan-Slavism, Communism and the Union State; some flags of radical Stalinists (Russia’s National Liberation Movement) were also spotted. The police did not disturb the participants.

More and more often, siloviki come to inspect front yards of apartment blocks in Minsk; they order to take off white-red-white flags as well as thwart concerts and meetings.

On Thursday, Dzmitry Semchanka, a former ONT TV journalist who belonged to Lukashenka’s presidential pool until recenly, was detained. Today he has got a 15-day jail for violating rules of holding mass events (Art. 23.34 of the Code of Administrative Offences). On the back of crackdown on pos-election peaceful protests, Semchanka quit his job in mid August.

(c) Belsat

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