Human Rights Activists: 55 People Arrested, 30 Fined For $13,000 In Belarus

Trials of the participants of actions of solidarity with vlogger Sergei Tikhanovsky and Brest eco-activists continue throughout the country.

Since 6 May, 55 people have been sentenced to a total of more than 500 days of arrest, more than 30 people have been fined for more than $13,000, the unregistered Vesna human rights center reports.

In early May, Tikhanovsky, the author of “A Country For Life” YouTube channel held meetings with his subscribers in several cities and towns. Later, many participants were either detained or summoned to the police.

Vlogger Sergei Tikhanovsky. Credits: Uladz Hrydzin (RFE/RL)

On 6 May, Tikhanovsky was detained near Mogilev. The activist was placed in a temporary detention center in Gomel. The reason for the detention was the decision of the court on administrative arrest for 15 days.

Vesna representatives suggested that the court order was issued on 10 January. The vlogger was convicted for “Participation in an unauthorized mass event” and coverage of the Minsk action against integration with Russia on 20 December.

The decision to arrest the vlogger entered into force on 15 January. By law, the authorities had a year to arrest Tikhanovsky for 15 days. On 18 May, the activist was again sentenced to 15 days of arrest. And the next day, he was arrested for 15 more days, that is 45 days in total.

While in a temporary detention center, he announced his intentions to take part in the presidential election. His confidant and wife Svetlana submitted documents to the Central Election Commission (CEC) for registration of the initiative group.

However, the CEC refused to register the group of Sergei Tikhanovsky, referring to the alleged violation of the submission procedure. After the refusal, Svetlana submitted documents to the CEC for registration of the initiative group to nominate her as a presidential candidate.

Meanwhile, the trials of the activists, political opponents, vloggers and journalists have been going in Brest, Minsk, Vileika, Novopolotsk and Vitebsk.