Vitsiebsk regional court finished the trial of four Vitsiebsk youngsters charged with fomenting of national enmity (Article No. 130) and robbery (Article No. 207 of the Criminal code). The investigation was carried out by Vitsiebsk regional KGB Board. The accused didn’t hide their convictions during the investigation measures.
According to the accusation, these four skinheads were the most active ones, they distributed ideas of neo-Nazism among youth and initiated raids against foreigners. They were charged with three episodes of beating and robbery of students from India, Nepal and Lebanon.
Many people doubted that the charge on Article No. 130 will be proved, as it was the first case of the Article employment. At first the trial was open, but then was closed as it was attended by too many skinhead sympathizers. It was opened it again only for the sentence pronunciation.
The seventy-year-old Siarhiei Axionau, Iury Bachurka, Uladzimir Khviedarau and the eighteen-year-old Siarhiei Kamiankou were found guilty of robbery and deliberate violent actions aimed at fomenting of racial and national enmity, insult of national honor and dignity. The easiest sentence was given to the 11th form pupil of secondary school No. 2 Siarhiei Axionau – 3,5 years of imprisonment at foundling colony, the hardest – to Siarhiei Kmiankou – 6 years of imprisonment at common regime colony. All of them were taken to jails right out of the court building. Despite their distaste to any signs of racism, advocates of the defendants and the present lawyers of “Viasna” and Belarusian Helsinki committee think that it is abnormally strict, unjustifiable sentence.
Beating of students from India may witness absence of developed Nazi ideology (which insists on supremacy of “Arians”) and can be a result of trivial racism immanent to low-income and undereducated strata of society – it seems the simplest way to find who is “guilty of the trouble” by skin color. According to the world-accepted practice such criminals undergo a course of anti-racist treatment and psychological anti-violence therapy. In this case the State seems not only reluctant to confess that it does too little to save young people from destructive moods and influences, but even eager to breed real hard criminals in Belarusian prisons, known for their “perfect conditions”, by employment of skinhead-like methods for problem solution.