Updated at 11:30,08-12-2016

Nyaklyayew, Rymashewski appeal their sentences

Former presidential candidates Uladzimir Nyaklyayew and Vital Rymashewski have appealed their sentences to the Minsk City Court.

On May 20, a judge of the Frunzenski District Court in Minsk gave a suspended two-year prison sentence with two years' probation to Mr. Nyaklyayew and a suspended two-year prison sentence to Mr. Rymashewski.

Judge Zhanna Zhukowskaya found Messrs. Nyaklyayew and Rymashewski guilty of the "organization and preparation of actions that are in gross violation of public order or active participation in them" in connection with a post-election protest staged in Minsk on December 19, 2010.

"According to the prosecutor, the only 'mitigating circumstance' in my case is that I have an underage daughter dependent on me," Mr. Rymashewski told BelaPAN. "Naturally, I'm glad to see this 'circumstance' every day and to be with my family. However, a suspended sentence for me is not freedom."

The appeal is a preliminary one, Mr. Rymashewski said, explaining that he had not yet received records of his trial, which should have been accessible to him within five days of the sentencing.

Mr. Nyaklyayew told BelaPAN that the sentence against him was unfounded, and that he would demand his acquittal.

On May 23, the defense team of former presidential candidate Andrey Sannikaw appealed his prison sentence to the Minsk City Court. Nine days earlier, a district judge sentenced Mr. Sannikaw to five years in prison on a charge of organizing "mass disorder" in connection with a the December 19 protest.

Dzmitry Uss' lawyer told reporters on May 26 that he would appeal the prison term imposed on the former presidential candidate earlier that day.
A district judge in Minsk sentenced Mr. Uss to five years and six months in prison, finding him guilty of organizing mass disorder.

Mikalay Statkevich, another former presidential candidate who was tried along with Mr. Uss, was sentenced to six years in prison on the same charge. Mr. Statkevich's lawyer refused to comment on the sentence handed down to her client.

A convicted person has 10 days to appeal his sentence to a higher court.