Some 600 protesters sentenced in Belarus

MINSK, December 21 (Itar-Tass) -- Some 600 people have been sentenced in the Belarusian capital for participation in unsanctioned protest actions, which were organised by the opposition presidential candidates on the night of December 19, Alexander Lastovsky, press secretary of the Interior Department of the Minsk Executive Committee, told Itar-Tass. "Administrative proceedings were instituted against 601 people," he said.

According to his information, 580 people were sentenced by courts to administrative arrests for a period of up to 15 days, and the rest are to pay big fines. Lastovsky added that it was not certain that the detainees would be released after the term of the administrative arrest was over. In every case a thorough investigation will be carried out in order to establish, whether or not this or that person took part in the massive unrest, which followed the unsanctioned protest action on December 19.

As was reported earlier, the Minsk law enforcement agencies instituted criminal proceedings on the case of massive unrest. According to the Belarusian legislation, the organisers of massive unrest may be sentenced to imprisonment for a period of up to 15 years.

Lastovsky said as well that 24 people had been arrested during another protest action of the opposition held on December 20.


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