Political prisoner Aliaksandr Rayentau sentenced to 5 years in prison
The Frunzienski District Court of Minsk announced today its verdict in the criminal trial against political prisoner Aliaksandr Rayentau on charges of “disturbing public order” (Part 1 of Art. 342 of the Criminal Code) and “resisting a police officer” (Part 2 of Art. 363 of the Criminal Code).
Judge Andrei Mlechka found that it was proved that Rayentau ran a Telegram chat that disseminated “destructive information.”
According to one of the alleged victims, Rayentau took part in an unauthorized protest on August 29, leading the crowd and showing the direction of movement.
The court however rejected the testimony of witnesses for the defense claiming that Rayentau did not urge them to participate in the protest.
Rayentau’s lawyer stressed the case file contained proof from the city transport operator Minsktrans that the public transport ran on schedule on November 15, 2020. Thus, Rayentau and other protesters did not obstruct the movement of public transport. The counsel also said that his client did not disobey the police, as they did not interact with him directly.
The political prisoner was also accused of using violence to resist police officer Ahiyevich, another victim in the trial, grabbing him by the forearm, which can be seen on video.
During a protest on August 29, Rayentau allegedly confronted the officer after getting on a trolleybus. All the victims claimed to have entered the middle door, while the video footage played in the courtroom shows that they lied. Moreover, the video has clear signs of editing. The sound in the video was changed, too.
None of the alleged victims sought medical help.
The victim Ahiyevich said that he could not identify his fellow officers because they were in plain clothes.
Despite all this, Aliaksandr Rayentau was sentenced to five years in a general-security penal colony.