On 26 April, 19-year-old student Maria Amosovich and 23-year-old kindergarten teacher Elizaveta Kiriyenko were detained in Vitebsk. They put lamps on the steps of the Church of the Resurrection of Christ in memory of the victims of the Chernobyl tragedy. The court concluded that their actions were unauthorized picketing [Article 24.23 of the Administrative Offenses Code], Vitsebskaya Viasna reports.
According to police reports, on the evening of 26 April, Maria Amosovich and Elizaveta Kiriyenko staged an unauthorized picket – they lit two red lamps on the steps of the Church of the Resurrection of Christ in Vitebsk. The women were detained and put in a detention facility.
In court, Amosovich and Kiriyenko pleaded not guilty. They explained that they had lit the lamps to honour the memory of the victims of the Chernobyl disaster. Both stated that they did not publicly express their “socio-political views”.
“At that moment, there weren’t even passers-by near the church,” Amosovich said in court.
Judge Vladimir Tsarikov found the girls guilty of violating Article 24.23 of the Administrative Code and sentenced Elizaveta Kirienko to 10 days of arrest, and Maria Amosovich to 20 days behind the bars.