The winner of Nobel Prize imprisoned, Ales Bialiatskiwent to the first hearing of the trial against him, in what his supporters see as an effort to crack down on Viasnathe country’s leading human rights group he founded.
Viasna said on social media that you could see Bialiatsky and his partners Valentin Stefanovich and Vladimir Labkovich in the defendants’ cage in the Minsk courtroom at the beginning of the hearing.
Viasna said on social media that Bialiatski and his associates could be seen Valentin Stefanovich Y Vladimir Labkovich in the defendants’ cage in the courtroom at the beginning of the hearing.
Bialiatski, 60, and his associates were jailed after large-scale anti-regime demonstrations in 2020, when the authoritarian president Alexander Lukashenko claimed victory in elections considered fraudulent by the international community.
With the help of Russian President Vladimir Putin, Lukashenko cracked down on the opposition movement, imprisoning his critics or driving them into exile.
Bialiatskyco-winner of the Nobel Peace Prize and defender of human rights in Belarus, faces a sentence of up to 12 years in prison in a case of “smuggling” of cash, his NGO Viasna announced on Monday.
The start of Viasna’s high-profile trial will be followed by the start of the trials of independent journalists and Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, a leader of the opposition movement living in exile.
Bialiatski, Stefanovich and Labkovich have been detained since July 2021.
Initially they were charged with tax evasion.
Viasna said in November that the rights defenders are now accused of smuggling a “large amount of cash” into Belarus to allegedly finance opposition activities.
They face between seven and 12 years in prison.
On Monday, several employees of Tut.bythe largest independent news outlet in Belarus, including its editor-in-chief Marina Zolotova, will go on trial.
face a series of charges including tax evasion and “incitement to enmity.”
The news outlet was designated “extremist” in 2021.
On the same day, Belarusian-Polish journalist and activist Andrzej Poczobut, 49, will be brought to trial in the western city of Grodno.
He was detained in March 2021 and charged with incitement to hatred and “calls for actions aimed at causing harm to the national security of Belarus,” according to Viasna.
On January 17, Tikhanovskaya will face trial in absentia.
The 40 year old man faces a litany of charges including high treasonconspiracy to unconstitutionally seize power, and creation and leadership of an extremist organization.
Tikhanovskaya claimed victory in the disputed 2020 Belarusian presidential election, but now lives in exile in Lithuania.
She ran in place of her husband Sergei Tikhanovsky, a charismatic YouTube blogger who championed the opposition.
The authorities interrupted his campaign by arresting him on charges of violating public order.
In 2021, he was found guilty of organizing a riot, inciting social hatred, and other charges and sentenced to 18 years in prison.
According to Viasna, as of December 31, there were 1,448 political prisoners in Belarus.
(With information from AFP)
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The trial against the Nobel laureate Ales Bialiatski began in Belarus