Young activist Pavel Vinahradaw sentenced to 12 days in jail

A judge of the Tsentralny District Court on Tuesday sentenced prominent young opposition activist Pavel Vinahradaw to 12 days in jail for planting a white-red-white flag and an image of political prisoner Mikalay Statkevich in downtown Minsk the previous day, BelaPAN said.

The 24-year-old leader of Zmena (Change), the youth wing of the “Tell the Truth!” movement, was found guilty of acting in violation of regulations governing demonstrations.

According to Judge Viktoryya Shabunya, by displaying the image over an entrance to the Nyamiha subway station, the young man staged an unsanctioned demonstration.

Mr. Vinahradaw was arrested near his house at about 5:30 p.m. on Monday. The arrest was made by police officers who guard subway stations.

In May 2011, Pavel Vinahradaw was sentenced to four years in prison in connection with a post-election protest staged in the Belarusian capital city on December 19, 2010. He was among 11 post-election protesters pardoned by Alyaksandr Lukashenka on September 14, 2011.

On April 10, 2012, Mr. Vinahradaw was placed under “preventive” police supervision. He is prohibited from leaving Minsk without police permission and required to stay at home from 8 p.m. to 7 a.m. and report to probation officers on a regular basis.

Last year Mr. Vinahradaw stood trial at least 10 times for various minor civil offenses and spent a total of 66 days in jail.

In particular, he served a 10-day and a five-day jail sentence for so-called toy protests, in which teddy bears and other soft toys were displayed holding miniature signs calling for freedoms and the release of political prisoners.

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