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Belarusian Activist Fined For Photos With Jailed Rights Defender

NAVAPOLATSAK, Belarus -- Another activist in Belarus has been fined for being photographed holding photos of a jailed human rights defender.

On January 29, a court in the northern town of Navapolatsak ordered Syarhey Malashenak to pay a fine of 2.5 million rubles ($290) for posting pictures on the Internet of him and a colleague holding photos of activist Ales Byalyatski.

The court deemed it an unsanctioned public gathering.

Malashenak's colleague, Yauhen Parchynski, who was also holding the Byalyatski photos, faced a trial last week.

He was ordered to pay a $50 fine.

Malashenak told RFE/RL that he and Parchynski plan to appeal.

He said the court violated their constitutional right to freedom of expression.

Byalyatski is currently in prison for tax evasion, a charge he has denied since his arrest in 2011.
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    RFE/RL's Belarus Service is one of the leading providers of news and analysis to Belarusian audiences in their own language. It is a bulwark against pervasive Russian propaganda and defies the government’s virtual monopoly on domestic broadcast media.