Accessibility links

Belarusian Opposition Activist Has Guilty Verdict Overturned

Yauhen Yakavenka

Yauhen Yakavenka

A court in the southeastern Belarusian region of Homel has annulled the sentence given to a Belarusian opposition activist for avoiding military service.

Yauhen Yakavenka, a member of the Belarusian Christian Democratic Party, was sentenced in June to one year of "restricted freedom" after being found guilty of refusing to report for military service.

Yakavenka had refused to respond to the Homel Military Commission's official enlistment notice because it was written in Russian. He demanded that the notice be written in Belarusian, arguing that the Belarusian Constitution guarantees the right of citizens to choose between Russian and Belarusian, the country's two official languages.

Judge Lyudmila Hrynko said in court on July 23 that she annulled the verdict and sentence against Yakavenka in accordance with an amnesty enacted by parliament to commemorate the 65th anniversary of the end of World War II.

-- Belarus Service

About This Blog

"Watchdog" is a blog with a singular mission -- to monitor the latest developments concerning human rights, civil society, and press freedom. We'll pay particular attention to reports concerning countries in RFE/RL's broadcast region.


Journalists In Trouble

RFE/RL journalists take risks, face threats, and make sacrifices every day in an effort to gather the news. Our "Journalists In Trouble" page recognizes their courage and conviction, and documents the high price that many have paid simply for doing their jobs. More