Viasna journalist gets 15 more days in prison

Maryna Kastylianchanka, Viasna member and journalist, has been sentenced to another 15 days of administrative detention, after a mock trial held in the Baranavičy detention facility on Tuesday, November 17.

The activist was found guilty of joining a protest allegedly held in Partyzanski Avenue in Minsk on October 25. In reality, protesters never gathered at the location on that day. Moreover, Kastylianchanka argues that she did not attend any other demonstrations.

The new conviction is the second consecutive sentence for the Viasna member after she spent 15 days in prison on similar charges, which she denied. Maryna was expected to be released on November 14, together with five more activists detained two weeks earlier. However, all of them were re-detained and charged under Art. 23.34 of the Administrative Code (illegal protesting).

Following Maryna Kastylianchanka’s initial sentencing, a number of international human rights organizations condemned Belarus for unlawfully prosecuting the Viasna activist.

In particular, FIDH stressed that Kastylianchanka’s arrest and subsequent detention were arbitrary, as they “seem to be only aimed at punishing her for her legitimate human rights activities.”

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