Amnesty International has today condemned the conviction of four Belarusian prisoners of conscience, including former presidential candidate Andrei Sannikau, over their involvement in post-election protests.
A court in Minsk sentenced Andrei Sannikau, who has complained of torture and other ill- treatment during his detention, to five years’ imprisonment on Saturday for his role in protests that followed presidential elections in December 2010.
Andrei Sannikau’s wife, journalist Iryna Khalip, who also took part in the December protests, was given a two-year suspended sentence on Monday, charged with breaching public order.
Pavel Sevarnyets and Syargei Martseleu were also sentenced to three years in a correctional facility and two years’ probation, respectively. Both were charged with breaching public order.
“Andrei Sannikau and these other activists have been convicted solely for exercising their right to peaceful protest,” said John Dalhuisen, Europe and Central Asia Deputy Programme Director at Amnesty International.