Political prisoner Artur Khatsko sentenced to 2 years in prison

2021 2021-09-21T11:57:10+0300 2021-09-21T11:59:55+0300 en http://spring96.org/files/images/sources/hatsko_artur.jpg The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
Artur Khatsko. Credit: social media

Artur Khatsko. Credit: social media

The Zavodski District Court of Minsk found Artur Khatsko guilty of “organizing or actively participating in group actions that grossly violate public order” (Article 342 of the Criminal Code). He was sentenced to two years in a general-security penal colony.

According to the case file, from August 31, 2020 to April 31, 2021, Khatsko posted messages in several Telegram chats urging people to join the post-election protests, which caused disruptions of public transport.

Khatsko was detained on June 10, 2021. He was soon called a political prisoner by the Belarusian human rights community.

In court, the defendant pleaded guilty, saying that he was sorry for what he did. He also said that he did not write the messages himself, but just reposted other people’s publications.

Like many other protesters before, Khatsko is yet to face a civil lawsuit filed by Minsktrans, the government-owned city transport operator. The claim is estimated at 237,099 rubles, or nearly 95,000 US dollars.

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