A First Verdict against the Opposition in Belarus

February 19th, 2011   Articles | Belarus | The European Union

Vasil Parfiankou, a member of the campaign team of former presidential candidate Uladzimir Niakliajeu (Tell the Truth), was on January 17, sentenced to four years of imprisonment. He was accused of committing a crime under Par. 2 Art. 293 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Belarus, mass riot. In addition he was fined almost $5,000 for damaging state property, I.e. broken glass of a Governments building in the Independence Square, during the protests following the presidential election December 19, 2010.

Vasil Parfenkov partially admitted his guilt. When asked by the Court why he took part in the demonstration, Vasily Parfenkov answered: “To express my disagreement with the official voting results”.

Vasil Parfiankou was the first individual to stand trial after the post election demonstration in Minsk on December, 19.  “A total of 42 people, including the chairman of the United Civil Party  (UCP) Anatol Liabedzka, five former presidential candidates, and other opposition leaders, are charged in the so-called mass riot case,” writes UCP on its home page.

The Belarus Human Rights organization Viasna comments the trial:

“The court sessions failed to establish any evidence that Vasil Parfiankou had taken part in the mass riot, to provide explanations why it accused Mr. Parfiankou of criminal conspiracy with other persons, to prove that Mr. Parfiankou had broken the glass doors, attacked the policemen and called upon other citizens to attack the government building.”

Read what EU:s High Representative Catherine Ashton says about the verdict

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