The main human rights group in Belarus says a court docket has sentenced a neighborhood activist to 4 years in jail for creating an “extremist group” on the messaging app Telegram
KYIV, Ukraine — A Belarus court docket on Friday sentenced a neighborhood activist to 4 years in jail for creating an “extremist group” on the messaging app Telegram, the nation’s high rights group, Viasna, reported.
Volha Zalatar, a 38-year outdated mom of 5 kids, has been held in custody since March. She was arrested on the road when she was taking her 10-year-old daughter to music faculty.
She was additionally charged with “gross violation of public order” and “disobeying legal requirements of the authorities.”
“My heart is torn into pieces, the degree of hatred is growing, the amount of pain and resentment is increasing,” Zalatar stated in her remaining deal with to the court docket Friday, rejecting all of the accusations. “Normal human actions, reactions and feelings are criminalized,” she stated.
Zalatar’s husband additionally spent 10 days in jail for displaying the Belarusian opposition’s red-and-white flag within the window of their condo.
Since final 12 months’s election, Lukashenko’s authorities has shut down nearly all of unbiased media retailers and rights teams.
On Friday, authorities designated the social media pages of RFE/RL’s Belarus service as extremist. The information outlet “adamantly rejects” the label and considers it “ridiculous,” RFE/RL President Jamie Fly stated in an announcement.
Earlier this week, Belarusian authorities raided the properties of dozens of journalists and activists throughout 9 cities, seizing their telephones and computer systems and taking them in for questioning after the searches. Legislation enforcement officers focused these believed to have funded antigovernment protests and unfold info deemed extremist.
Some 300 chats on the favored messaging app Telegram have been designated extremist by authorities, and customers of these chats will be sentenced to as much as 7 years in jail, if charged and convicted.
In accordance with human rights advocates, a complete of 896 political prisoners are presently behind bars in Belarus, together with Zalatar and high opposition activists.