Syarhei Kavalenka’s trial to continue with relatives barred from the courtroom


The trial of Belarusian opposition activist Syarhey Kavalenka in the eastern city of Vitebsk has been adjourned until February 23 after he went through an additional medical examination in the court. 

Kavalenka, 37, was arrested last December for alleged parole violations and faces a possible three-year sentence.  He had been originally sentenced in January 2010 to three years of "limited freedom" for "illegally displaying the banned Belarusian national flag" in a public place. 

On February 21, Kavalenka was taken to a prison hospital after he appeared gaunt and frail in the courtroom due to ongoing hunger strike. On February 22, doctors examined Kavalenka again and concluded that he can take part in the trial.

His relatives and journalists with laptops and recording equipment were barred from the courtroom.

Copyright (c) 2012. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty

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