Belarusian Helsinki Committee: Sentence to Coordinator of Russian Nazis in Homel Is Unfair
The national public association Belarusian Helsinki Committee is disappointed with the fact that the activity of the coordinator of Russian National Unity (RNE) in Homel Mikhail Yakauchuk was qualified under article 193.1 of the Criminal Code (activity on behalf of unregistered organization). Earlier such article was used against political opposition. Yakauchuk was sentenced to 6 months of jail.
‘BHC considers that activity of individuals and groups aimed at fomenting racial, national and religious enmity and humiliation of national honor and dignity has traits of the crime, provide by article 103 of the Criminal Code – ‘fomenting racial, national or religious enmity or discord’,’ reads the organization statement.
On the other hand, Belarusian Helsinki Committee is of the opinion that the activity on behalf of informal associations must not be punished by the law lest it is harmful to the society or infringes upon people’s rights. The human rights activists insist on finding article 193.1 of the Criminal Code non-constitutional.
BHC considers the usage of the same punishments to pro-Nazi organizations and peaceful youth initiatives and demands to stop the legal persecution of Young Front activists and release Zmitser Dashkevich, who was sentenced to 1,5 years of jail on the same article.
We should remind that according to the information of Homel regional KGB office after receiving a warning about inadmissibility of illegal activities ‘M.Yakovchuk continued his activity and purposefully continued it. He produced agitation materials, distributed the printed production which was imported from Russia and insistently tried to recruit Homel citizens in the organization.’