Amendments to the Criminal Code Start to be Used
According to the information Human Rights Center Viasna received from the relations of public activist Tsimafei Dranchuk detained on 21 February by the KGB, he is now in the KGB detention center. Ts.Dranchuk was detained for three days on a charge of committing a “crime” under Part 2 Article 193 of the Criminal Code of Belarus (organizing or managing a public association, a religious organization that attempt on the person, the rights and liberties of citizens). This part of Article 193 provides for punishment in the form of arrest for up to 6 months or imprisonment to 3 years, and allows the arrested man to be kept in custody before trial.
Thus, Belarus started to use the articles of the Criminal Code, which were included at the end of the last year according to the bill drafted by the KGB.
The detained public activists Aliaxandr Shalaiki and Mikola Astreika may also be in the KGB detention center and will also be charged under the new Criminal Code articles.
A wave of arrests, obviously, confirms what the KGB Chair Sukharenka said during the adoption of amendments to the Criminal Code – that these changes would apply to specific people.
Information Department of the Human Rights Center Viasna