Human rights activist Leanid Sudalenka charged, remains in custody
Leanid Sudalenka, human rights activist and chairman of the Homieĺ branch of the Human Rights Center "Viasna", has been charged under Parts 1 and 2 of Article 342 of the Criminal Code (organization and preparation of actions grossly violating public order and financing such activities). He remains in custody in pre-trial detention center No. 3 in Homieĺ.
Leanid Sudalenka was detained on January 18 on his way to the office. He was brought in for questioning to the Investigative Committee's local office, while his lawyer was not allowed to intervene for several hours. He was then placed in a remand prison and transferred to a pre-trial detention center a few days later. The Belarusian human rights community soon called Sudalenka a political prisoner.
Two weeks before Sudalenka's arrest, a local socio-political center "Polesskaya 52", where Viasna's office is located, was searched and the police siezed documents related to the activist's human rights work.
In the evening of the same day, Viasna volunteer Maryia Tarasenka, who acted as Leanid Sudalenka's assistant, was also detained. She was released three days later. On January 21, Tatsiana Lasitsa, Viasna volunteer from the city of Rečyca, was detained at the Minsk airport. She also assisted Leanid Sudalenka in his work. She was taken into custody in the Homieĺ pre-trial detention center.