Foreign diplomats send New Year greetings to convicted opposition politician Sevyarynets

He is serving a three-year “restricted freedom” sentence in connection with a December 19, 2010 post-election street protest in Minsk…

 

Eighteen foreign diplomats and politicians have sent their New Year greetings to Paval Sevyarynets, a co-chairman of the Belarusian Christian Democracy (BCD) party who is serving a three-year “restricted freedom” sentence in connection with a December 19, 2010 post-election street protest in Minsk.

The prominent opposition politician has received greetings from representatives of Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, the UK, and the United States, as well as the leadership of the European Union, according to the BCD press office.
Mr. Sevyarynets, 35, is held in an open-type correctional institution in the Pruzhany district, Brest region.

On May 16, 2011, Mr. Sevyarynets, who was candidate Vital Rymashewski's campaign manager during the 2010 presidential race, was convicted in connection with the December 19, 2010 demonstration. A district judge found him guilty of instigating disturbances and participating in them.

In May 2005, Mr. Sevyarynets, along with another opposition politician, Mikalay Statkevich, was sentenced to three years of restricted freedom for staging a series of unauthorized protests in central Minsk in the fall of 2004 against the official results of parliamentary elections and a national referendum marred by allegations of massive fraud. The sentence was later reduced by one year under an amnesty.

He also spent two months in detention following an opposition demonstration in April 1998 on a charge of "malicious hooliganism." In November 1998, the authorities dropped the criminal case against him under pressure from the international community. //BelaPAN