On 5 April Minsk City Court considered the appeals of Alexander Otroshchenkov, Dmitrii Novik and Alexander Molchanov, convicted on charges of rioting, and left the sentence unchanged.
Oleg Gulak, the chairman of the organisation “Belarusian Helsinki Committee”, commented on that decision:
“Of course, in the ordinary court system, as international practice demonstrates, we must treat the court and its rulings with respect, but now the judges are showing that they do not respect themselves, as they are allowing themselves to become a tool for settling scores with political opponents. Therefore we must react to this adequately. This definition of appeal only confirms the political character of the case about the events on 19 December. Such decisions by courts are a serious factor in discrediting the judicial system.”