OREANDA-NEWS. The members of the Belarusian fantasy-folk band Irdorath, who performed musical compositions at the Minsk protest demonstrations in summer-autumn 2020, were sentenced to two years of imprisonment. The verdict was pronounced on 14 December in Savetski District Court of Minsk.

The state prosecutor qualified the actions of musicians at peaceful protests as "organization and preparation of group actions, blatantly violating public order, coupled with evident disobedience to the legitimate demands of the authorities or causing disruption of transport, enterprises, institutions or organizations, or active participation in such actions in the absence of signs of a more serious crime" (Part 1 of Article 342 of the Criminal Code of Belarus) and "training or other preparation of persons to participate in a group of protesters.

The maximum punishment under this article is three years' imprisonment. Judge Aliaksandr Yakunchikhin, presiding at the trial, agreed with the arguments of the state prosecution and announced the verdict: the vocalists of the musical group - spouses Uladzimir Kalach and Nadzeya Kalach are sentenced to two years in jail with sending to a general regime colony.

The musicians were arrested in August 2020 at Nadezhda Kalach's birthday party and kept in a remand prison until the trial. The time spent in custody will be counted towards the sentence.

Other members of the music group were also prosecuted. One of them managed to go to the European Union, where (unlike Russia) accused for political reasons are not extradited to Belarus.