Belarus Supreme Court considers solidarity campaigns ‘attempt to put pressure’

A verdict of guilty of a crime is delivered and will be delivered not on Facebook, but in court, First Deputy Chairman of the Supreme Court Valery Kalinkovich says.

On Wednesday the official commented on a campaign of solidarity with Minsk high schooler Danat Skakun.

“All these campaigns ‘for’ or ‘against’ are of little importance to justice. We regard them as attempts to exert pressure on justice. As a rule, such campaigns are inspired by people who have an immediate interest in the outcome of individual cases,” Kalinkovich told state-run news agency BelTA .

In April 2017, 15-year-old schoolboy Danat Skakun was found guilty of a knife attack on his Russian language teacher and was sentenced to 8 years in prison. But many Belarusians do not believe in the guilt of the teenager. The activists point out that there were no fingerprints of him on the knife and the charge was based solely on the teacher’s words.

After the verdict, Belarusian Internet users launched a solidarity campaign on social networks – people posted pictures of them holding a sheet of paper with the words ‘Donat Not Guilty’. Concerned Belarusians created a Facebook community in support of Danat. It publishes the latest news on his case.