31 Jul 2018 16:59

Sentences of 3 Regnum writers convicted in Belarus for inciting inter-ethnic strife takes force

MINSK. July 31 (Interfax) - The sentences of three writers for the news resource Regnum who were convicted in Belarus for inciting inter-ethnic enmity has taken effect.

"An appeal was lodged as part of this case. The Supreme Court heard it on June 14. The Minsk City Court's judgment on this case was upheld and took legal force," the first deputy chairman of the Supreme Court, Valery Kalinkovich, said at a press conference in Minsk on Tuesday.

The defendants have not filed further appeals, Kalinkovich said. "At least, they have not been forwarded to me. If we receive any appeals, we will consider them as the law prescribes," Kalinkovich said.

The Minsk City Court sentenced three Belarusian writers, Yury Pavlovets, Dmitry Alimkin, and Sergei Shiptenko, to five years in prison with a 3-year suspended sentence in February.

Criminal inquiries were launched after the Belarusian Information Ministry asked the federal expert committee to examine Regnum materials for signs of extremism. According to the committee's findings, indications of the incitement of racial, inter-ethnic, or religious enmity were found.

Regnum senior editor Yury Baranchik, who is currently in Moscow, was charged in absentia with fanning racial, inter-ethnic, or religious enmity. Baranchik was detained by Russian police at the Belarusian side's request but has yet not been extradited to Minsk.