On the 27th of May, judge Zhanna Khvoynitskaya sentenced the Belarusian

anarchists Ihar Alinevich, Mikalaj Dziadok, Aliaksandar Frantskievich,

Maxim Vetkin and Yeveni Slivonchik. The young men were accused of a

number of political actions, amongst which was the attack against the

Russian embassy in Minsk in August of 2010.

Ihar Alinevich was accused of attacks against the Russian Embassy and

Belarusbank ("Property destruction with intent", statute 218 paragraph 3

of the Belarusian Criminal Codex), an attack against the remand prison

of Minsk (also statute 218, paragraph 2), an attack against a Casino and

an illegal demonstration at the military headquarters ("Aggravated

hooliganism", statute 339 paragraph 2 of Belarusian criminal codex). The

prosecutor asked for a 9 year sentence in hard regime, eventually he

received 8 years of hard regime (1).

Mikalaj Dziadok was sentenced for actions against a Casino, the military

headquarters and a yellow(2), state-controlled trade union, all

considered "aggravated hooliganism". The prosecutor demanded a 6 year

sentence of hard regime, he received 4.5 years of hard regime.

Aliaksandr Frantskievich was sentenced for actions against

state-controlled trade union, military headquarters and a police station

at Soligorsk, all considered "aggravated hooliganism", and also against

defacing website of city of Novopolotsk ("Electronic sabotage", "Illegal

access to electronic information", "Development, using or spreading

malware" (statute 349 paragraph 2, statute 351 paragraph 2, statute 354

of Belarusian criminal codex). Prosecutor demanded a 5 year sentence,

eventually he received 3 years of hard regime. Screenshots of the

action are available here:


Maxim Vetkin was sentenced for the actions taken at the BelarusBank and

the Russian Embassy in Minsk. He has been cooperating with the

investigation and giving testimony against the others. He was given a 4

year sentence in a low-security prison according to the prosecutor's

demands. He has been temporarily released.

Yevgeni Silivonchik was sentenced to 1.5 years in open regime prison for

the attack in Soligorsk. He has also cooperating with the investigation

and giving testimony against the other accused.

The accused have to compensate 100 million Belarusian rubles (around 20

000 dollars) in criminal damages to the respective institutions.

Alinevich, Dziadok and Frantskievich have been denying their

involvement, with the exception of the action at the military

headquarters. They are considering appealing their sentences, but the

appeal court may hand out even more severe sentences. The Strasbourg

court is not an option for the Belarusians, as Belarus is excluded from

the Council of Europe.

Valentina Alinevich, mother of Ihar, said "Yesterday someone else's

children were arrested, and we thought it was not our problem. Today

they arrest our children. Tomorrow they will arrest someone else's

children. People, be aware! Do not let it happen!". She also noted the

role of Russian Federation in the case of Ihar: "Russia accepted the

kidnapping of a person on its territory. It is an outrageous violation

of human rights, which took place in compliance with the Russian

authorities." Keep in mind, that on the 28th of November Ihar Alinevich

was kidnapped from Moscow by agents of an unconfirmed special service,

and illegally transferred across state borders to the remand prison of

the Belarusian KGB in Minsk.

Aliaksandr Dziadok, the father of Mikalaj and an experienced lawyer, who

has also worked as a judge, made the following statement to the press:

"There were plenty of violations during the court process. The

prosecution's case was not proven. The sentence is unjust and illegal.

An objective, law-abiding court would have dropped all charges against

the accused". Aliaksandr Dziadok made a comparison between the case

against the anarchists, and the case brought against those arrested

after the 19th of December (court cases against the latter, who

protested against the falsification of the general elections, which have

attracted sizeable international attention).

Anarchist Black Cross of Belarus considers the sentences politically

motivated, and the charges unproven. Besides this, all of the actions

for which the accused were sentenced, may be considered non-violent. No

living being was hurt as a consequence of the actions. Most of the

attacks were merely symbolical, and material damage was insignificant.

Reports from each day of the court are available on Belarussian

Indymedia and at http://www.avtonom.org/en/freebelarus.

"Defying the law", a documentary on the investigation and the court

cases against the Belarusian anarchists is available here:


A version with English subtitles will be available in few days.