Political prisoner Raman Kananovich sentenced to 4 years in prison
Judge Tatsiana Shotsik of the Lieninski District Court of Minsk has sentenced political prisoner Raman Kananovich to four years in a medium-security penal colony, finding the 24-year-old programmer guilty under part 2 of Art. 293 of the Criminal Code. Raman has been in custody since October 16, 2020.
Kananovich was accused of using a metal fence to erect barricades on the night of August 10 near the Puškinskaja metro station. On the same night, protester Aliaksandr Taraikouski was shot and killed in the neighborhood.
The main proof of Kananovich’s guilt was a photo from his smartphone. The political prisoner did not admit his guilt, saying in court that he only removed the fence from the road to clear the passage, so that he could continue his trip to his aunt’s place.
The whole trial took only three hours. Judge Tatsiana Shotsik also ruled to inform Kananovich’s employer about the verdict and punishment, so that other employees would not take part in riots.
The indictment against Kananovich reads that on August 10, the defendant arrived at the location to “illegally express his socio-political views and protest through destructive activities, aimed, inter alia, at exacerbating tensions in society, and took an active part in the joint actions of a crowd, which grossly violated public order.”
The prosecutor also called the events near of August 10 a “pogrom”, arguing that Raman Kananovich took an active part in the riot.
“The photo in which Kananovich attempts to move a metal fence so that it does not interfere with other citizens cannot indicate that he committed the incriminated acts. Moreover, the photo clearly shows that Kananovich did not commit arson or a “pogrom”. Nor did he offer armed resistance to the alleged and unidentified representatives of the authorities. Despite the fact that the photo shows the moment of an attempt to move one metal fence, the prosecution suggested viewing it as a proven fact that Kananovich moved at least four metal fences towards the location where the barricades were being erected. However, there is no evidence that Kananovich actually moved them,” the prisoner’s lawyer said in court.