On March 3, the court of the Leninsky district of Minsk announced the verdict against the human rights activists of Viasna. Judge Maryna Zapasnik issued harsh sentences for her human rights activities.
Chairman of the Human Rights Center "Viasna", Nobel laureate Ales Bialiatski - 10 years in prison. Valiantsin Stefanovic, deputy chairman of "Viasna" and vice-president of FIDH - 9 years of imprisonment. Uladzimir Labkovich, coordinator of the campaign "Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections", got 7 years in jail. Zmitser Salauyou, human rights activist of "Viasna", received 8 years of imprisonment in absentia.
Judge Maryna Zapasnik also ruled to exact from Bialiatski, Stefanovich, Labkovich and Salauyeu the sum of 752,438 rubles 62 kopecks, which they had allegedly "obtained by criminal means" by "smuggling by an organized criminal group". Taking into account the fine, the defenders were to be exacted a total of almost 450 thousand dollars.
The defenders were charged under part 4 of article 228 (smuggling by an organized group) and part 2 of article 342 of the Criminal Code (financing activities of a group that grossly violate the public order). Three human rights defenders have been detained since 14 July 2021.