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Belarusian Opposition Activist Sentenced To 10 Days In Jail

Zmitser Shukhray

Zmitser Shukhray

HORKI, Belarus -- A coordinator for the opposition Belarusian Christian Democratic party has been sentenced to 10 days in jail for his role in an unsanctioned protest near a labor camp in eastern Belarus, RFE/RL's Belarus Service reports.

Judge Iryna Chaplygina has sent a copy of the verdict from the court in Horki sentencing Zmitser Shukhray to his home district of Ivanau in the western Berastse Oblast. Chaplygina said Shukhray will serve his prison term there.

Shukhray was not present at the September 13 trial. He told RFE/RL he had asked that the trial be held in his home district.

Shukhray, together with 15 other activists, traveled to Horki on August 2 and took part in an unsanctioned action near the labor camp where opposition Youth Front leader Zmitser Dashkevich is serving his two-year jail term.

The activists protested the fact that Dashkevich's lawyer had been barred from meeting with him for weeks as he had spent much of the previous three months in solitary confinement.

All the other protest participants already have been fined or sentenced to several days in jail.

Shukhray told RFE/RL that he does not regret taking part in the protest. "I supported my colleague when he needed that support, and he still needs our support. Therefore I am confident I did nothing wrong," he said.

Shukhray has five days to appeal the court ruling.

Read more in Belarusian here