Political prisoner Andrei Novikau convicted in Viciebsk
The Kastryčnicki District Court of Viciebsk sentenced 50-year-old political prisoner Andrei Novikau, a volunteer with the nomination group of Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, to two and a half years in a general-security penal colony.
The punishment is partial addition of two sentences: two years of imprisonment under Part 1 of Art. 342 (organization and preparation of actions that grossly violate public order, or active participation in them) and one year in prison under Part 2 of Art. 371 (illegal crossing of the state border of the Republic of Belarus) of the Criminal Code.
Novikau was found guilty of organizing, together with Mikalai Statkevich and Siarhei Tsikhanouski, group actions that “breached public order” and resulted in the “disruption of transport, enterprises and organizations.”
In particular, starting from October 2019, he publicly called to prepare and organize illegal actions. They also planned and implemented a series of illegal mass events under the guise of pickets to collect support signatures.
In addition, being a citizen of the Russian Federation, Novikau violated a ban on entry to Belarus, after he was deported from the country in November 2020. He repeatedly came to Belarus and was arrested on April 13, 2021.
Andrei Novikau fully pleaded guilty under Art. 371, and in part under Art. 342. He admitted that he participates in the activities, shot and posted videos on his channel. However, he rejected the charges of organizing of mass riots and conspiracy with Tsikhanouski and Statkevich.
Andrei Novikau is Russian national, a volunteer of Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya's presidential campaign. He served in the police and took part in military operations in Chechnya. He is married and has three daughters, one of whom is a girl with a disability.