Updated at 01:25,03-03-2021

Young Girl Sentenced To Two Years In Jail For Inscriptions On OMON Shields


Young Girl Sentenced To Two Years In Jail For Inscriptions On OMON Shields
Judge Olga Neborskaya passed a verdict in the case of 18-year-old Sophia Malashevich and Tikhon Klyukach, who took part in a September rally near the Palace of Independence in Minsk. The court sentenced Sophia to two years of imprisonment and Tikhon to one and a half.

Sofia and Tikhon met at the end of August 2020, they studied together at the Brest College of the Service Industry. After being detained at the rally, the management of the college, according to the accused, suggested them to write an expulsion letter. As a result, both were expelled.

On 6 September, Tikhon decided to take part in a Sunday march with his girlfriend. According to investigators, the young people learned from a telegram channel about the rally and took an active part in it, which entailed disruption of the work of public transport and enterprises. State Prosecutor Rudnitskaya said that Klyukach and Malashevich were moving along the roadway, clapped their hands, showed opposition gestures, walked in the front rows of the column, thereby committing a crime under part 1 of article 342 of the Criminal Code.

Sophia was also charged with hooliganism. According to the prosecution, on 6 September, the girl made vulgar inscriptions on the protective shields belonging to military unit 63 755 at the Palace of Independence. The state prosecutor stressed that the defendants acted with exceptional cynicism, showed contempt for the moral values ​​of society, and caused damage in the amount of BYN 103 [~$40/€33]. Sophia paid this fine before the trial.

In addition, Sophia was charged with insulting Lukashenko [Article 368 of the Criminal Code, punishable by a fine, or correctional labour for up to two years, or arrest, or deprivation of liberty for up to two years, or imprisonment for the same period]. According to investigators, in August, she twice displayed a banner with an insulting inscription containing a negative assessment of his activities, showing social intolerance towards representatives of the authorities and a desire to distort the image of Lukashenko in the publiс eye.

The young people admitted their guilt and regretted their actions. Nonetheless, Judge Olga Neborskaya sentenced 18-year-old Sophia Malashevich to two years in prison and 18-year-old Tikhon Klyukach to a year and a half in prison. The sentence has not legally entered into force so far, the defenders said they would file complaints. Sophia and Tikhon were recognised as political prisoners.