Prominent artist Marachkin sentenced to five days in jail

Prominent artist Alyaksey Marachkin was sentenced to five days in jail on March 25.

The painter, who is chairman of the Batskawshchyna World Association of Belarusians and a member of the Belarusian Popular Front, was arrested at his workshop on Monday.

Police officers conducted a search at the workshop, seizing posters and banners that were to be displayed at an opposition demonstration in Minsk on March 25.

Mr. Marachkin was brought to the Tsentralny district police department and then to the detention center on Akrestsina Street, where he spent the night.

At a hearing on Tuesday, a judge of the Tsentralny District Court found the 67-year-old artist guilty of using obscene language near the district police department and jailed him for disorderly conduct.

Dozens opposition activists are jailed on an obscene language charge ahead of every key street protest in Belarus. Only police officers normally testify for the prosecution in such trials.

Mr. Marachkin’s son, Ihar, said that during the raid the police had damaged several ancient ceramic objects and seized The Dolls, a famous painting by Mr. Marachkin that depicts Belarusian top government officials in a satirical manner.