Young opposition activist fined $435 for organization of unsanctioned procession during Chernobyl anniversary march

Dzmitry Fedaruk, a leader of an unregistered opposition youth group called Malady Front (Young Front), was fined 930,000 rubels ($435) on May 3, his associate, Barys Haretski.

A judge of Minsk`s Savetski District Court found him guilty of organizing an unsanctioned march during the opposition`s Charnobylski Shlyakh (Path of Chernobyl) demonstration on April 26.

The 18-year-old Fedaruk was brought to the court from the district police department where he had appeared on summons.

Messrs. Fedaruk and Haretski, as well as Aleh Korban, Anastasiya Palazhanka and Alyaksey Yanushewski are under criminal prosecution on charges of acting on behalf of an unregistered organization under Article 193-1 of the Criminal Code, which carries a fine, a jail term of up to six months or a prison sentence of up to two years.

On November 1, 2006, Malady Front activist Zmitser Dashkevich was sentenced to 18 months in a minimum-security correctional institution on the same charge.

According to Mr. Haretski, on May 2, Dzmitry was questioned by Dzmitry Svistun, an investigator with the KGB office for Minsk and Minsk region. "As Dzmitry told me, Svistun threatened that if he refused to cooperate, harsh measures of influence would be applied to him," Mr. Haretski said.