Four ex-candidates charged with staging mass riots
On 29 December, four former presidential candidates – Uladzimir Niakliayeu, Andrei Sannikau, Mikalai Statkevich and Vital Rymasheuski – were officially charged under Article 293 of the Criminal Code (“organizing mass riots”). Similar charges were brought against Rymasheuski’s election agent Pavel Seviarynets and Sannikau’s press-secretary Aliaksandr Atroshchankau.
Uladzimir Niakliayeu’s health is extremely poor, says Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, quoting the politician’s lawyer Ms. Tamara Sidarenka. The counsel has reportedly filed a request for hospitalization.
“Niakliayeu’s has been charged, but he hasn’t been actually interrogated yet. What’s stronger than the charges is that he had a hypertensic crisis today. His health is poor. He hasn’t been hospitalized, though, according to Niakliayeu himself, he faces high risk of having another fit or a cerebral crisis”, says Ms. Sidarenka.
According to Andrei Sannikau and Pavel Seviarynets’s lawyer Pavel Sapelka, the politicians “do not deserve any prosecution.”
Lawyer Uladzimir Toustsik says Sannikau’s wife Iryna Khalip also faces criminal charges. However, he did not elaborate on the matter, saying that the interrogations would continue.