Opposition activist Dzyanis Sakhar sentenced to heavy fine
7:30, — Politics
A judge of the Minsk District Court on Wednesday imposed a fine of four million rubels ($443) on opposition activist Dzyanis Sakhar.
Mr. Sakhar was among the 11 Nazbol activists who were rounded up in a police raid on their tent camp in a forest near Minsk on August 10.
According to a Nazbol spokesperson, the activists went into the countryside on that date to hold a sports camp. When they were setting up tents on the bank of Valchkovichy Reservoir in the Minsk district, men in police uniform and civilian clothes arrived at the scene in six vehicles and forced everyone to lie down, face against the ground and with their hands behind the head, using physical force and giving no explanation. Tear gas was used against Mr. Sakhar and underage Alyaksandr Palyakow. Handcuffs were put on them.
The raiders searched the campers’ backpacks and other belongings and seized newspapers, flags and other objects bearing party symbols and a legal air rifle, the spokesperson said, noting that “during the search, police and KGB officers, who did not say who they were, shouted obscenities and threats and used physical force.”
The 11 Nazbol members were taken to the Zhdanovichy district police department where they were charged with drinking alcohol in a public place although the camp was located in the depth of the forest and participants did not have alcoholic beverages because that was going to be a sports training event, the spokesperson said.
Ten Nazbol activists were released after the deputy chief of the district police department imposed fines ranging from 100,000 to 800,000 rubels on them, whereas Mr. Sakhar, who was charged with resisting arrest, was placed in a detention center. He was taken to the Minsk District Court two days later, but his trial was postponed after he asked the judge to question witnesses for the defense.