Trials in progress: About 120 Belarusians jailed, fined for participating in protests

Trials of protesters against the so-called ‘parasite’ law are still in progress in Belarus.

In Mahiliou, Uladzimir Shantsau, an activist of the United Civil Party, and Aleh Aksyonau were sentenced to 15 days in custody for organizing the unauthorized march of non-parasites which was held in Mahiliou on 19 February.

Today, Babruysk activist Maxim Buynitski has been sentenced to 15 days under arrest. The man has gone on hunger strike. Halina Smirnova has been BYN 690 fined.

In Homiel, the police has violently detained local activist Uladzimir Nyapomnyashchykh.

In Hrodna, the police has barred local activists and a Belsat correspondent in their flats.

In total, about 120 people have been arrested or fined for being involved in the protests.

On March 15, Constitution Day, marches of non-parasites are to be held in Minsk, Mahiliou and Hrodna. will be livestreaming the events.

Decree Nr 3 signed by Alyaksandr Lukashenka in April, 2015 established the obligation of the citizens of Belarus, foreign citizens permanently residing in Belarus, stateless persons, who did not participate in the financing of public spending or participated in such financing less than 183 days (six months – ed.) in the past year, to pay a fee of 20 basic units (appr. $230).

The notorious decree caused a massive public outcry. In February-March, protests were held in a number of Belarusian cities and towns. On March 9, the implementation of the infamous ‘parasite’ law was put on the back burner.