Viasna’s Marfa Rabkova faces new charges
On February 11, Marfa Rabkova, coordinator of Viasna’s volunteer network, faced new criminal charges of “inciting social hostility to the government by a group of unidentified individuals” (Part 3 of Art. 130) and “involvement in a criminal organization” (Part 2 of Art. 285 of the Criminal Code).
Earlier, the human rights defender was charged with “financing and training to participate in riots” (Part 3 of Art. 293). If found guilty, Marfa Rabkova may be imprisoned for up to 12 years. The activist continues to be held in the Minsk pre-trial prison.
The charges come five months after Rabkova’s arrest on September 17 and are an apparent attempt to justify her pre-trial detention, as the initial period of investigation expires on February 16. The authorities earlier used this pretext to extend the arrest of opposition politician Mikalai Statkevich and critical blogger Siarhei Tsikhanouski.