Tsikhanouskaya’s campaign members convicted in Homieĺ over alleged plans to seize power
On May 4, the Čyhunačny District Court of Homieĺ has handed down verdicts in a criminal trial involving four members of Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya’s presidential campaign. Political prisoners Tatsiana Kaneuskaya, Yury Ulasau, Dzmitry Ivashkou and Aliaksandr Shabalin were accused of “rioting” and plotting to “seize government buildings.”
Judge Aliaksei Khlyshchankou found the activists guilty under Part 2 of Article 293 of the Criminal Code (participation in mass riots) and under Article 292 of the Criminal Code (seizure of buildings). Yury Ulasau was also convicted of insulting a government official (Part 1 of Article 369 of the Criminal Code).
As a result, Yury Ulasau was sentenced to 6.5 years in a medium-security penal colony, Tatsiana Kaneuskaya to 6 years in a general-security penal colony, Dzmitry Ivashkou and Aliaksandr Shabalin to 6 years in a medium-security penal colony.
According to their families, the defendants told the court that they were subjected to physical and psychological pressure by the investigation. All of them plead not guilty and said in court that they considered the accusation against them to be politically motivated.
“This open trial was actually held behind closed doors. The reference to the “anti-coronavirus seating arrangement” looks cynical. The verdict passed today is not based on law, but on the current political situation,” said Viktar Adzinochanka, a local human rights activist who attended the trial.