Feeds

One-armed Belarus man monocuffed for clapping

Mute person also fined - for shouting anti-gov slogans

High performance access to file storage

It appears that Belarus president Alexander Lukashenko – faced with growing public demands that he naff off after 17 years at the helm of the former Soviet republic – is determined to go out in comedy gold style.

Alexander LukashenkoAccording to this report, cops loyal to "Europe's last dictator" (pictured) have been clamping down heavily on protests against the regime, and recently arrested a man for clapping at a street demonstration.

Poor old Konstantin Kaplin, an unemployed chap from Grodno, claims he was fined the equivalent of $200 for the offence, despite having a watertight defence: he only has one arm.

He explained that he was simply observing a demo and "attempting to photograph demonstrators with his cellphone when plainclothes police grabbed him".

Kaplin said of his subsequent appearance before the beak: "The judge read out the charges, the police affirmed that I was applauding, and the fine was levied."

He added: "The judge looked ashamed of herself, and I sympathise with her. She was probably under orders. But this is a huge sum for me to pay, more than twice my monthly pension, and I'm having to ask all my family and friends to help me raise it."

Kaplin isn't the only unfortunate to have been fast-tracked through the courts on trumped-up charges, as "masses" of dissident arrestees are processed.

Svetlana Kalinkina, editor of Minsk's Narodnaya Volya newspaper, explained: "There was one case where a deaf and mute person was accused of shouting anti-government slogans.

"Last week there was yet another case when a teacher was arrested while he was riding a bike and was accused of waving his arms and shouting something in a kind of protest."

Lukashenko will doubtless be called to account for his authoritarian excesses, and we sincerely hope prosecutors at his own trial insist on the maximum penalty for perhaps his worst misdemeanour – that of dyeing his absurd moustache. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Forget the beach 'n' boardwalk, check out the Santa Cruz STEVE JOBS FOUNTAIN
Reg reader snaps shot of touching tribute to Apple icon
Oz bank in comedy Heartbleed blog FAIL
Bank: 'We are now safely patched.' Customers: 'You were using OpenSSL?'
Happy 40th Playmobil: Reg looks back at small, rude world of our favourite tiny toys
Little men straddle LOHAN, attend tiny G20 Summit... ah, sweet memories...
Spanish village called 'Kill the Jews' mulls rebranding exercise
Not exactly attractive to the Israeli tourist demographic
Lego is the TOOL OF SATAN, thunders Polish priest
New minifigs like Monster Fighters are turning kids to the dark side
Dark SITH LORD 'Darth Vader' joins battle to rule, er, Ukraine
Only I can 'make an empire out of a republic' intones presidential candidate
Chinese company counters pollution by importing fresh air
Citizens line up for bags of that sweet, sweet mountain air
Google asks April Fools: Want a job? Be our 'Pokemon Master'
Mountain View is prankin' like it's 1999...
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.