Ten political prisoners convicted in Telegram chats case

2021 2021-07-19T15:00:49+0300 2021-07-19T17:31:50+0300 en https://spring96.org/files/images/sources/sprava_11.jpg The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

Judge Dzmitry Astapenka sentenced today ten political prisoners to five to nine years in prison, finding them guilty under Art. 293 (rioting), Art. 218 (deliberate destruction or damage to private property) and Art. 295 of the Criminal Code (illegal actions with firearms, ammunition and explosives).

Five years in a medium-security penal colony were imposed on:

(under Part 1 of Article 13 and Part 2 of Article 293 of the Criminal Code)

23-year-old optician Artsiom Kasakouski

37-year-old Dzmitry Lastouski

31-year-old Dzmitry Zheburtovich

Eight years in a medium-security penal colony were imposed on:

(by partial addition of punishments: under Part 1 of Article 13 and Part 2 of Article 293 of the Criminal code, the prosecutor requested five years, and under Part 1 of Article 13 and Part 3 of Article 218 – seven years)

40-year-old construction worker Pavel Niadbaila

33-year-old architect and designer Rastsislau Stefanovich

26-year-old welder Yauhen Prapolski

23-year-old Aliaksandr Reznik

48-year-old system administrator Siarhei Plonis

20-year-old Artsiom Mitsuk

Aliaksandr Yurchyk (not a political prisoner)

Nine years in a medium-security penal colony were imposed on:

(by partial addition of punishments: under Part 1 of Article 13 and Part 2 of Article 293 of the Criminal Code, the prosecutor requested five years, under Part 1 of Article 13 and Part 3 of Article 218 of the Criminal Code – seven years, and under Part 2 of Article 295 of the Criminal Code – five years without a fine):

38-year-old military engineer and sales manager Yury Bialko

These exact sentences were earlier requested by Aliaksandr Ramanovich, senior assistant prosecutor of the Leninski district of Minsk.

Several political prisoners reported torture during arrest or being forced to sign confessions.

All of them were accused of participating in several “radical” Telegram chats. The case file mentioned “OGSB” (Civil Self-Defense Detachment) and “Podrabotka Minsk” (Side Jobs in Minsk), among others. In addition, they allegedly intended to damage or destroy three tobacco shops.

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