Human Rights Defender Sentenced to Fine

Belarus continues to punish the country’s human rights defenders. On July 16, the Belarusian human rights defender and lawyer Leanid Svetsik was sentenced to a huge fine. Svetsik has for several years been working with legal aid to human rights activists in the city of Vitebsk, who had received letters with threats from members of the Nazi-organization Russian National Unity.

This spring, he was charged for having written and circulated the letters himself. On July 16 he was sentenced to pay $ 10 890 in fine for stirring up national or religious hatred and libel against the president.

Svetsik’s lawyer, Paval Sapelka, called the case fabricated and claimed there had been violations during the preliminary investigation and trial. According to Svetik himself, the prosecutor deliberately manipulated facts to put the human rights movement in bad light.

This shows again that the Belarusian dictator Alexander Lukasjenka does not intend to implement any democratic reforms, says Robert Hårdh, Secretary General of the Swedish Helsinki Committee and continues; Belarusian human rights defenders are as hard-pressed as before, and in this light, I find it difficult to see how the EU can be able to continue to deepen its cooperation with Belarus with maintained credibility.

Categories: News.
Tags: Human Rights Defenders.
Regions: Belarus.