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Belarus: Release minor sentenced to five years imprisonment after unfair trial

, Index number: EUR 49/3984/2021

On 22 February 2021, 17-year-old Mikita Zalatarou was sentenced to five years in a correctional colony after a trial marred with irregularities, for allegedly “organizing mass disorder” and having thrown a molotov cocktail at the feet of two riot policemen. He was convicted and sentenced alongside two adults. The appeal hearing is on 23 April 2021. During the investigation and trial, the Belarusian authorities have disregarded his right not to be subjected to torture and other ill-treatment, and his fair trial rights. He was beaten on arrest and during detention with an electric shock baton, and police officers interrogated him in the absence of a lawyer or a responsible adult. Furthermore, he has been held in pre-trial detention for over six months and is currently in solitary confinement - a violation of human rights standards regarding the treatment of children in detention.

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