Criminal proceedings have been instituted against pardoned post-election protester Vasil Parfyankow who is accused of violating the terms of "preventive" police supervision.
The Investigative Committee informed Mr. Parfyankow, 28, that a criminal case had been opened after he had failed to comply with the restrictions imposed on him by a district judge months after his early release.
On January 5, 2012, Judge Syarhey Bandarenka of the Pershamayski District Court in Minsk ruled that Mr. Parfyankow must be placed under police supervision for 12 months.
Human rights defenders condemned the criminal case as politically motivated and said that the authorities were seeking to end the man's involvement in politics and intimidate other opposition activists ahead of this year's parliamentary elections.
"Parfyankow may face up to 18 months in prison and if he is put in prison he will be surely declared a new political prisoner," said a human rights group called Vyasna.
Mr. Parfyankow was placed under police supervision after the police claimed that he "has not stepped on the path of reformation" and had "repeatedly disturbed public order."
The judge imposed a number of restrictions on Mr. Parfyankow's freedom. In particular, the young man was ordered to report to probation officers once a week and stay at home between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m. unless he is required to be at his workplace, and prohibited from leaving Minsk on personal business without police permission.
In February 2011, Vasil Parfyankow was sentenced to a four-year prison term in connection with a post-election protest staged in Minsk on December 19, 2010.
He was granted a presidential pardon on August 11 and released three days later.
Since then, Mr. Parfyankow has repeatedly been arrested and punished under the Civil Offenses Code for participating in unsanctioned demonstrations.