OSCE chairman in office, Belgian Foreign Minister Karel De Gucht, condemned the sentence, calling it "harsh" and said the he found "the entire handling of the alleged offenses... gravely disturbing."
De Gucht said he called for restraint by Belarus authorities but said "Belarus has basically ignored these calls."
The EU released a statement accusing Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka of using the country's law-enforcement apparatus to oppress his political opponents.
The statement said the court's decision "contradicts basic freedoms."
Minsk, March 25
THE AUTHORITIES GET TOUGH: RFE/RL's Belarus Service filed these images from the police action against the March 25 demonstration in Minsk. Photographs by Maks Kapran.
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