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Print out date: 02.07.2020 08:11
25.10.2019 14:35 Photos

In pictures: Opposition activist Palijenka sentenced to three-year “restricted freedom” term

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(BelaPAN Photo/Siarhiej Saciuk)

A judge of the Minsk City Court on October 25 sentenced opposition activist Dzmitryj Palijenka to a three-year “restricted freedom” term.

The restricted freedom sentence requires that the convict should stay at home after 7 p.m. on workdays and should not leave home on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays.

Mr. Palijenka, 25, who was charged with felony disorderly conduct under Part Three of the Criminal Code’s Article 339, spent more than seven months in jail before being released after the sentence was pronounced on Friday.

The public prosecutor in the trial suggested Wednesday that the accused be sentenced to six years in prison, and that the sentence be shortened by one year under an amnesty program.

As Mr. Palijenka told reporters, he believes that he was given the non-custodial sentence because Aliaksandr Lukašenka seeks to normalize relations with the West and does not need to have one more political prisoner in the country in the run-up to next year’s presidential election.

Mr. Palijenka was charged over an incident that happened on March 13, 2019. 

According to the prosecution, while standing in a staircase in an apartment building on Hurskaha Street in Minsk at about 8 p.m., he attacked a man with pepper spray after the man rebuked him for smoking.

The alleged victim in the case, a certain Aliaksiej Juryn, said in court that the accused sprayed pepper gas in his eyes and ran away without saying a word.

He acknowledged that he was intoxicated by alcohol at the time of the incident, as he was returning home from a restaurant.

Mr. Juryn claimed that he said nothing that could be interpreted as a threat and did not attempt to use violence against the accused.

Mr. Palijenka insisted that he did not smoke in the staircase, that it was the alleged victim who attacked him, and that grabbed his pepper spray and used it to defend himself from the attacker.

Mr. Palijenka pointed out that the charge against him was fabricated, and that authorities were persecuting him for his anarchist views.




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