Minsk: Politician, activists get 15-day jail terms in wake of pre-election picketing

On Monday, there have been a number of trials of politicians and activists detained on May, 31.

Mikalai Statkevich, a Belarusian politician and 2010 presidential candidate, has been punished with administrative detention (15 days in custody), his wife Maryna Adamovich says on Facebook.

As reported earlier, the former political prisoner was rounded up by plainclothes men when he was going to a picket to collect signatures for wannabe presidential candidate Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya.

To officially become a presidential candidate, a contender will have to collect 100,000 signatures until June, 19. The names of the candidates will be announced in mid July, and the election will be held on August, 9. Notably, a wannabe presidential candidate does not have to get permission from the authorities for holding the pickets during which people can sign for them.

Belarusian human rights defenders consider blogger Tsikhanouski political prisoner

Moreover, Tsentralny district court of Minsk has sentenced European Belarus activist Maksim Vinyarski and Young Front leader Dzyanis Urbanovich to 15 days in jail each. They were found guilty of violating Article 23.34 of the Code of Administrative Offences (participation in an unauthorised mass event).

On May 31, over 30 persons, including members of Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya’s initiative group and civil activists, were detained or prevented from taking part in pre-election pickets, the human rights centre Viasna reports.

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