Another Politically-Motivated Criminal Case
On 5 March 2006 D.Mekhau, the senior investigator of the department of organized crime and corruption of the Board of Internal Affairs of Minsk Regional Executive Committee, brought a criminal case against the resident of Niasvizh Anastasia Azarka.
On 9 March Anastasia Azarka was summonsed to the Board of Internal Affairs of Minsk Regional Executive Committee and informed about it. According to the investigator’s ruling, Ms Azarka is suspected in ‘active participation in the illegal activity of the unregistered public association Young Front together with other persons. She distributed printed production with the urges to fight against the present public order and the present state authorities of the Republic of Belarus, participated in the organization and holding of unauthorized meetings, oppositional and other activities aimed at reaching of the aims of the abovementioned association, receiving financial means for it.’
The criminal case was brought on article 193.1 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Belarus (illegal organization of the activity of a public association, religious organization or fund or participation in their activity). The article provides a fine, up to six months of arrest or up to two years of jail as punishment.
So, it is already the second criminal cases for activity on behalf on unregistered organization that has been brought this year. The first one was initiated on 21 February and concerned Mikalai Astreika, Enira Branitskaia, Tsimafei Dranchuk and Aliaksandr Shalaika, who are also accused of violation of article 193.
The lawyer Valiantsin Stefanovich gave the following commentary regarding this situation: ‘The ruling to bring the criminal case against Anastasia Azarka is composed in the spirit of the 1930-ies. This case is of evidently political nature. It must be also perceived by the investigator Mekhau and his colleagues, procurators and judges. They must understand they become a tool of terror against their compatriots whose political views differ from that of Aliaksandr Lukashenka. In general, the situation becomes more and more reminiscent of the Soviet, Stalin’s times.’