Civil Liberties

Belarusian Activists Fined

Posted photo of a protest


To get arrested at a demonstration, you normally have to be there. Not, however, in Belarus. 

A court in the western city of Hrodno this week convicted three human rights activists—Uladzimer Khilmanovich, Viktar Sazonau, and Raman Yurhel—for participating in an unauthorized demonstration on December 10 on International Human Rights Day. They were each fined 1.5 million rubles ($173).

But the men weren't arrested at the time of their demonstration, but after a photo of them protesting was published online. In the photo, they are holding a portrait of Ales Byalyatski, a human rights leader who in 2011 was sentenced to 4 1/2 years in prison on charges of tax evasion. His supporters say those charges are politically motivated.