Belarusian politician receives two-year sentence for comments on the Internet
The Minsk Central Court has sentenced opposition figure Andrei Klmov to two years imprisonment. He was charged with insulting the President and calls to seize power. The criminal proceedings were instituted on the grounds of an article he published in the Internet. The politician was arrested on 3 April and has been held ever since in a pre-trial detention centre. Klimovs trial took place behind closed doors.
Andrei Klmov, one of the initiators of an attempt to have President Lukashenko impeached in the run-up to the referendum of 1996, was accused then of economic crimes and sentenced to six years imprisonment. Later he was prosecuted for an unsanctioned street protest action. He spent four years in prisons and penal colonies. Following his early release, he once again became actively involved in opposition activities. He was declared an Amnesty International prisoner of conscience.
According to the news agency NEWSRU.Com , Klimovs case is the first criminal prosecution in Belarus for material posted on the Internet. .