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Prominent activist blogger fined $4300 in Brest

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Siarhei Piatrukhin / spring96.org

Brest's Leninski District Court on 18 April found blogger and activist Siarhei Piatrukhin guilty of livel and insults, reports the human rights website Viasna. The ruling was made by Judge Aliaksandr Semyanchuk. 

The fine amounts to 360 base rates or BYN9180 (approximately $4300). Piatrukhin must pay this amount in the course of one month. He is also banned from leaving the country while his property remains arrested.

The activist is also obliged to cover moral damages to the Brest Police Force officers Siarhei Ihnatsiuk, Dzmitry Yakushevich, Ihar Halyantsich and Siarhei Takun in amount of BYN8500 (aproximately $4200). 

All in all, the blogger must pay a total of $8500 in addition to covering the court fees.

Piatrukhin was tried for his video on social media, in which he exposed the work of the Brest police officers. During the hearing, the courtroom was constantly filled with police officers in plain clothes, blocking access to other members of the public.

The prosecutor had asked to punish Piatrukhin with two years of forced labor and a fine of 100 base rates (BYN2550 or $1200).