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Belarusian Activist Jailed For 10 Days Over Prisoner Protest

Maksim Vinyarski at a previous demonstration

Maksim Vinyarski at a previous demonstration

MINSK -- A Belarusian opposition activist has been jailed for 10 days for trying to stage a protest in support of political prisoners, RFE/RL's Belarus Service reports.

Maksim Vinyarski, coordinator of the "European Belarus" civil campaign, was arrested on October 24 when he and dozens of his colleagues tried to hold the public action on Minsk's October Square (see video here, in Belarusian).

Vinyarski's colleagues and journalists were not allowed to attend the court hearing on October 25. Several men in civilian clothes told them that Judge Valery Esman requested that the trial be held behind closed doors.

Vinyarski was sentenced to 10 days' administrative detention for organizing an unsanctioned public gathering.

The Minsk city prosecutor's office warned Vinyarski on October 23 that he could be held accountable for "violating laws on holding public actions."

The "European Belarus" campaign was launched in January by various Belarusian opposition groups to promote Belarus's integration into the European community.

Read more in Belarusian here