Blogger Syarhei Tsikhanouski sentenced to 15 days of arrest

On July 1, a Hrodna court heard an administrative case against blogger Tsikhanouski, who heads the initiative group of his wife Svyatlana.

The trial of Tsikhanouski. Photo:

Tsikhanouski was accused of disobedience to the police during the May 29 election picket. The case was heard by Judge Yury Kazakevich.

The trial of Tsikhanouski. Photo:

The blogger was present in the courtroom via Skype. Tsikhanouski’s associates and journalists also came to the hearing. Half the room appears to have been occupied by men in civilian clothes. But there could have been bloggers, too.

The trial of Tsikhanouski. Photo:

Tsikhanouski said that he was brutally detained by riot policemen who ripped off the protective mask “Country for Life”. He asked to link the video from the police body cams to the case.

The riot police officers explained that they had appeared on the square, as there was information about violence against the policeman. They noted that they had introduced themselves, took Tsikhanouski under their arms and brought him into the official car. According to them, Tsikhanouski was resisting with his legs and hands, shouting about provocation and was disobeying.

The reports and written explanations of the riot police are identical, up to grammatical errors.

Officially, the policemen did not keep records of Tsikhanouski’s arrest from video recorders. They couldn’t explain the reasons for that.

Although the head of state himself said that he “gave a signal on Tsikhanouski”, the policemen said that they had detained him and others only because they had suspicions about violence against the policeman.

Tsikhanouski: the policemen did not know what to do.

Tsikhanouski asked to pay attention to the video recording, which shows the provocation against him. He claimed that the policemen did not introduce themselves and seized him.

When the blogger was taken from Hrodna to Minsk, to the detention center in Akrestsina, the coroner verified battery-induced injuries of Tsikhanouski who had blue hands.

According to Tsikhanouski, after the detention until 3 a.m., the police did not know why he was detained. They called on different numbers and asked what to do.

During the hearing, Tsikhanouski stated that a long peaceful protest was needed.

“Where are your slippers, Belarusians?” he asked.

After a break, the judge ordered to arrest Syarhei Tsikhanouski for 15 days. In response, the politician managed to say: “Shame on you!”