‘Mass events’. Paramedic who sounded alarms about COVID-19 situation stands trial

On Friday, emergency medical technician Pavel Paleichyk has been tried in Lida. On April 22, he took part in a meeting with popular Belarusian vlogger Syarhei Tsikhanouski.

The police detained Pavel Paleichyk on May, 7.

He was found guilty of violating the rules of holding mass events (Article 23.34 of the Code of Administrative Offences) and sentenced to seven days in custody, human rights centre Viasna reports.

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The ruling was passed by judge Maksim Filatau. Two more Lida residents – Alexei Kravchuk and medic Aleh Krautsou – are waiting for the verdicts.

Earlier, Pavel Paleichyk granted interviews to non-state media outlets, including to belsat.eu, telling journalists about the paramedics’ tough working conditions during the pandemic of COVID-19. According to him, the Belarusian authorities have downplayed the gravity of the situation and failed to take proper steps for addressing it. Soon after the man’s story hitting the headlines and his turning to Belarusian volunteers for help, his superiors started to exert pressure on him.

As of May 7, Belarusian health professionals registered 20,168 persons infected with the novel coronavirus; 116 patients have died. In spite of the increasing infection rate, the Belarusian authorities have not introduced any quarantine measures. President Lukashenka believes that imposing a nationwide lockdown would not improve the situation in Belarus. In his opinion, such steps might deal a crippling blow to the daily life of the nation. Although the Belarusian leader admitted that the recommendations by the World Health Organisation should be studied in detail, he stressed the country would run its own course.

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