Accessibility links

Breaking News

Minsk Court Sentences Two Men To Seven Years For Causing $66 In Damages To Government Property

A court in Minsk, Belarus sentenced Ivan Komar (left) and Mikita Yemelyanav to 7 years in prison.

A court in Minsk has sentenced two Belarusian men to 7 years at a high-security prison for damaging government property and using incendiary devices.

Mikita Yemelyanav and Ivan Komar were found guilty of damaging the Minsk City Court and the Minsk pretrial detention facility as well as producing Molotov cocktails.

They had been in jail since October.

According to the investigators, Yemelyanav in September threw a light bulb with red paint at the Minsk court, causing $65 in damages.

He subsequently pleaded guilty, saying the act was carried out to protest another trial prosecuting a fellow anarchist, Dzmitry Polienko.

The following month Yemelyanav threw a fire bomb at the entrance door of a pretrial detention facility that failed to ignite. He succeeded in his second attempt the following week causing $0.7 worth of damages.

In court, he said the fire bomb was thrown to protest political prisoners in Belarus.

Human rights activist Valyanstin Stefanovich told RFE/RL that Emelyanav voluntarily paid for the damages, a matter the court didn’t take into consideration when sentencing him.

Komar, who filmed the acts, admitted doing so but pleaded not guilty in causing damage to the government properties.

Yemelyanav said his sentencing was politically motivated and that he will appeal the ruling.

Based on reporting by RFE/RL’s Belarus Service and Current Time