Belarus sentences pro-independence activist to 13 years in jail
Pavel Belavus / sb.by
Prominent activist Pavel Belavus was found guilty of Belarusian nationalism and state treason in a closed trial.
Pavel Belavus, the creator of Symbal.by, an online shop that sold merchandize in Belarusian national white-red-white colors, has been sentenced to 13 years in prison. The political prisoner was tried behind closed doors beginning from February 20.
Belavus was found guilty of leading an "extremist formation", "state treason", "public calls for the seizure of state power" and "organizing group activities that grossly violate public order".
Belavus was arrested in November 2021 and taken into custody on December 23, 2021. He was subjected to administrative detention several times before a criminal case was eventually opened against him.
The Investigative Committee formulated the charge as follows: "Under the guise of cultural and historical development, he spread the ideas of Belarusian nationalism in various public social networks and websites, the purpose of which was to change the state power in Belarus. The investigators also stated that Belavus "by his criminal actions... endangered the external and internal security of the state for ten years".