About 200 Belarusians detained, fined, jailed after recent non-parasite marches

Over the last four days, there have been many trials of Belaruains protesters on a nationwide scale.

According to the human rights center Viasna, as of March 16, 197 people have been arrested, detained or heavily fined after rallies of non-parasites.

Among the detainees there are young people, students, representatives of civic movements, as well as those who happened to be close to protesters (for example, Pavel Markov, a citizen of Russia). Using bad language, disobedience to the police’s orders, chanting anti-government slogans, wearing masks on their faces – these are some charges filed by policemen. By the way, it is them who witnessed against the accused in courts.

Many defendants have been sentenced to 12-15 days in prison (Yauhen Dzyadkouski, Uladzislau Lobau, Syarhei Matskoits, Maxim Kurtsou, blogger Pyotr Markelau and others. The latter made a video of plainclothes policemen brutally detaining people in Minsk.)

The detainees say they were tortured and beaten by the police.

“They hit me on the top of the head. They wanted to leave no imprint,” Artsyom Markin said.

On March 15, Constitution Day, marches of non-parasites were held in Minsk, Mahiliou and Hrodna. According to people who protesting the so-called ‘parasite’ law, Lukashenka’s Decree Nr 3 is unconstitutional.

Decree Nr 3 signed by Alyaksandr Lukashenka in April, 2015 established the obligation of the citizens of Belarus, foreign citizens permanently residing in Belarus, stateless persons, who did not participate in the financing of public spending or participated in such financing less than 183 days (six months – ed.) in the past year, to pay a fee of 20 basic units (appr. $230).

When arresting protesters on Wednesday, plainclothes policemen refused to show their IDsused violence and even fired tear gas.