Minsk: Journo fined over taking part in rally against election fraud

A Minsk court has imposed a fine of 382.5 rubles (about $190) on well-known Belarusian journalist Iryna Khalip, charter97.org reports.

Earlier, a protocol was drawn upon Khalip under Art. 23.34 of the Administrative Code (violation of rules of holding mass events) over her participating in Free People’s Meeting, a protest against stealing of the parliamentary elections, which took place in Minsk on November, 15. About a hundred people gathered in Kastrychnitskaya Square in Minsk and then the protesters moved to Freedom Square, where Khalip called on the audience to ‘sweep aside the clash of political views and join in the struggle for changes in Belarus.

Iryna Khalip was about to run for MP in 2019, but, like many Belarusian opposition activists, including Yury Hubarevich, Alyaksandr Kabanau, Maksim Vinyarski, she was denied registration.

Girl caught at ballot stuffing attempt

After the infamous referendum in 1996, the first and still the only president of Belarus received the authority to hold referendums and appoint top officials. His decrees and orders became stronger than laws: the Belarusian parliament – National Assebly – was turned into a rubber-stamping legislative body which obediently carries out all Lukashenka’s instructions. Currently, there are only two opposition deputies in the House of Representatives.

The election day was November 17, but early voting started week prior to it, on November, 12. According to independent observers and human rights activists, early voting provides opportunities for falsification of election results. Because of this, during each election campaign, human rights activists note cases of pressure on military personnel, students and civil servants forced to vote early.

The observation campaign “Right to Choice” recorded 757 cases of violation of the electoral law during the elections to the House of Representatives.

Election campaign aftermath: Belarus activists facing trials, hefty fines

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