Videoblogger who covered ‘parasite’ law protests sentenced to 15 days in jail

Syarhei Pyatrukhin has been tried in absentia in Leninsky district court of Brest.

Mr Pyatrukhin is a well-known Brest videoblogger. He exposes Belarusian officials’ corruption schemes on his Youtube channel ‘Narodny reporter’ (People’s Reporter).

The trial started yesterday, but it was postponed. Today, the blogger has failed to appear at the hearing.

In court, a police officer who was on the witness stand said that blogger Pyatrukhin ‘provoked’ people. The judge sentenced the activist to 15 days of arrest.

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.