Autukhovich charged with terrorist attack preparation

2009 2009-11-23T17:40:23+0200 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

This charge had been arranged for the political prisoner for 10 months. For almost three months out of 20 he was on hunger strike.

Autukhovich’s lawyer Paval Sapelka has informed that Vaukavysk businessman has been charged with preparation of a terrorist attack. The lawyer denied any comments however, referring to secrecy of investigation.

According to information of Aleh Vouchak, a human rights activist, the documents about the charges have been forwarded to Autukhovich, who is kept in Minsk remand prison number 1, on November 20. “As before, Autukhovich is charged under Article 218 of the Criminal Code of Belarus, that is, he is charged with arson of property of Vaukavysk officials, and under Article 359 of the Criminal Code (terrorist attack) in the form of preparation (Article 13). Besides, Autukhovich has been also charged with explosive storage,” Vouchak said. According to his knowledge, Autukhovich is named an organizer of the crime.

Uladzimir Asipenka, who was detained with Autukhovich and is also kept in the remand prison number 1, hasn’t still been exhibited charges.

“It means that investigation is coming to an end, and in the near future Autukhovich is to start studying the materials of the case,” the human rights activist believes. “It also means that on December 8 (on the day when the investigation against Autukhovich and Asipenka is to be either stopped or extended), it would be extended. In case Autukhovich would start to read materials of the case, he won’t be released from prison. Constant extending of investigation terms shows that there are simply no proofs against Autokhovich”.

According to Vouchak, Autukhovich feels alright physically, he is set to study the documents of the case and defend himself in the court effectively.

Mikalai Autukhovich, Yury Lyavonau, and Uladzimir Asipenka were detained in Vaukavysk on February 8, 2009. On February 18, the entrepreneurs were charged under article 218 of the Criminal Code (intentional damage to or destruction of property of citizens). On June 23, a criminal case under article 359 of the Criminal Code (a terroristic act) in the form of preparation (article 13) was instigated against Autukhovich and “other persons”.

Vaukavysk businessman Yury Lyavonau was released from Minsk remand prison on August 8. The case against him was closed on September 24.

Mikalai Autukhovich was on hunger strike from April 16 to July 16. He demanded either to take the case to the court as soon as possible, or to change the measure of restraint for all persons involved in the case from imprisonment to a written undertaking not to leave the place.

Human rights activists consider them political prisoners, turning attention to the fact that Autukhovich and Lyavonau were convicted before and recognized prisoners of conscience by the international community.