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Observer convicted for… swearing at polling station

Artsiom Skarabahaty. Photo:

Election observer Artsyom Skarabahaty on February 19 was sentenced to 7 days of arrest for ‘swearing at a polling station.' He was detained on February 18, the human rights and election monitoring website reports. On Election Day, Skarabahaty was present as an independent observer at the polling station in the culture center of Lasny agro-town not far from Minsk. Deputy chairperson of Baraulyany constituency election committee Krystsina Shablouskaya said in court that she had called the police because the observer was impeding the work of the election committee. “He was violating the order, speaking in a loud voice and arguing with visitors in bad language.”

Skarabahaty comes from a large Belarusian-speaking Protestant family, Nasha Niva reports. Arstiom Skarabahaty will serve his administrative sentence in the Minsk District detention centre (Minsk, Skaryna Street, 20).