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1863x.com blogger Eduard Palchys released in court
Belarrusian blogger Eduard Palchys aka John Silver on October 28 was found guilty by the Minsk City Court of instigating national, racial, language or other hostility (Article 130 (1) in the Penal Code) and disseminating pornographic materials (Article 334 in the Penal Code). He was sentenced to 1 year and 9 months of restricted freedom without dispatch to a correctional facility and released in court as he had completed his term while under investigation in pre-trial jail.
After the release, Eduard Palchys spent literally several minutes talking to reporters and took off home - to rest from the cell where he "spent the past 9 months." The blogger thanked all for attention to his trial, stressing that "they would have closed me quietly for three years if there were no public support."
Ouside the court building, youth activists welcomed Palchys shouting Long Live Belarus! and even sang "Happy Birthday to You". Eduard Palchys today turned 26.
Palchys is famous as the founder and administrator of 1863x.com, where he published highly critical materials with regard to Russia's policy towards Belarus and Ukraine. The blogger was detained in Russia in early 2016 and exstradited to Belarus.
The prosecutor asked 3.5 years in prison for Palchys.
When he was in pretrial detention, Belarusian human rights defenders recognized Eduard Palchys as a political prisoner.
The trial was behind the closed doors but the verdict was pronounced with members of the public and journalists present.