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Belarusian Activist Loses Appeal To Clear Record

Alyaksandr Atroshchankau
Alyaksandr Atroshchankau
MINSK -- A Belarusian opposition activist has lost an appeal to have his criminal conviction for protesting last year's presidential election overturned, RFE/RL's Belarus Service reports.

The Minsk City Court today rejected an appeal by Alyaksandr Atroshchankau, who was press secretary for jailed former presidential candidate Andrey Sannikau.

Atroshchankau was arrested on December 20, one day after the mass protests in Minsk following the announcement of the reelection for a further term of incumbent President Alyaksandr Lukashenka.

Atroshchankau was later found guilty of participating in mass disorder and sentenced to four years in jail. On September 14 he was released in line with Lukashenka's decision to pardon some of the participants in the December protests.

Atroshchankau told RFE/RL today that although he was released, he still officially has a criminal conviction on his record that he considers unwarranted.

"I will continue appealing the verdict as I am fully innocent, and therefore I have to clear my name and make the judges who tried me correct their mistake," he said. "It was not President Lukashenka, but some specific persons who wrongly tried me, and they must be held accountable for their mistake."

Sannikau was jailed for five years in May for his role in organizing the December mass protest that officials categorized as mass unrest.

Read more in Belarusian here