Three years of restricted freedom for messages in Telegram chats

2021 2021-06-24T17:52:33+0300 2021-06-24T17:52:34+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

On 24 June Minsk Centraĺny District Court sentenced Aliaksei Spiridonau to three years of restricted freedom in an open-type penitentiary. Spiridonau was found guilty of the fact that from July 22 to September 24, 2020, he wrote messages in telegram chats that were aimed at activities that violated public order. These activities disrupted transportation. He also posted and saved text and photos of political statements.

Aliaksei Spiridonau fully admitted his guilt. He said that he joined the chats in mid-July to read and write messages. The man wrote them to stimulate lively discussions in the chats. He did not have the motive to encourage anyone to take any action, and he did not participate in any activities himself.

Lawyer Tatyana Shimul stressed that there was no evidence in the materials that would indicate that Spiridonov planned and organized at least one action. There is also no causal connection between the reports and the actions. Moreover, there are no convictions of other chat room participants to suggest that a group of people acted as a group, as the prosecution insists.

Aliaksei Spiridonau was released from custody in the courtroom: he spent two months under arrest.