Political prisoner Siarhei Kapanets sentenced to 5 1/2 years in prison over “helping to organize riots”
The Centraĺny District Court of Minsk sentenced political prisoner Siarhei Kapanets, a member of Viktar Babaryka's nomination group, to five and a half years in a medium-security penal colony. He was convicted for the events of August 9-11, 2020, in Minsk under two articles of the Criminal Code: Part 6, Art. 16, Part 1 of Art. 293 (assistance in the organization of mass riots) and Part 1 of Art. 342 (group actions gravely breaching public order).
Kapanets was accused of assisting the administrators of the Telegram channel NEXTA, Stsiapan Putsila, Raman Pratasevich and others, in organizing riots by sharing information and video about the movement and deployment of security forces on election night. He also allegedly distributed leaflets and coordinated the movement of people to the administration of the city’s Pieršamajski district.
In a separate count, Kapanets was accused of participating in protests on August 10 and 11 in Minsk.
A considerable part of the trial took place behind closed doors after the Telegram channel NEXTA was added to the database of extremist publications.
Siarhei Kapanets pleaded not guilty to both charges.