3 to 4 1/2 years in prison: Six political prisoners convicted in another trial over Brest “riots”

2021 2021-08-12T17:38:32+0300 2021-08-12T17:42:06+0300 en https://spring96.org/files/images/sources/brest_sud_besparadki3.jpg The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

The Lieninski District Court of Brest announced today its verdict in the third trial of protesters accused of “rioting” during the post-election events of August 9-10, 2020.

Judge Sviataslau Kalina found the ten defendants, including six political prisoners, guilty under Part 2 of Art. 293 of the Criminal Code and ordered the following prison terms:

Political prisoner Raman Hvazdziolka – 4 years in prison;

Political prisoner Mikita Hancharou – 3 1/2 years in prison;

Vadzim Zhylinski – 4 years in prison;

Political prisoner Dzianis Zhuk – 4 years in prison;

Dzmitry Kniazeu – 3 years in prison;

Political prisoner Yury Kuzmich – 4 years in prison;

Dzmitry Panko – 3 years in prison;

Political prisoner Anton Sotnikau – 4 1/2 years in prison (additionally convicted under Part 1 of Article 339 of the Criminal Code, “malicious hooliganism”);

Political prisoner Dzmitry Tur – 3 1/2 years in prison;

Minor Maksim Shatokhin – 3 years in prison.

Earlier, these sentences were requested by the prosecutors.

According to eyewitnesses, 16 people were not allowed to hear the announcement of the judgement.

The trial started on May 28 and included over a dozen court sessions.

According to the investigation, during the protest, the accused “grossly violated public order,” “destroyed property” and “hit police officers with their hands, feet and various objects.” They reportedly used boards, sticks, street rubbish bins, paving slabs and asphalt, bottles, stones, metal bolts, paint cans and firecrackers.

As a result of the riots, according to the investigation, 24 security officers were injured. Of these, 19 people were recognized as victims in the case. One employee received two injuries of a thumb, which were described as minor. The others were reportedly beaten. In addition, the accused tried to use violence and inflict bodily harm on three other security officers, the prosecutor said in court.

Post-election protest in Brest. August 10, 2020. Photo: BelTA
Post-election protest in Brest. August 10, 2020. Photo: BelTA

According to the investigation, the total amount of damage caused by the defendants amounted to about 24,000 rubles. 13 police cars, one bus, shields, helmets, body armor, asphalt, paving slabs, benches, and trees were damaged.

All the victims dropped lawsuits for moral or pecuniary damage to the defendants.

Almost all the defendants pleaded guilty in part. Raman Hvazdziolka pleaded not guilty. Dzmitry Kniazeu and Artsiom Klimchuk pleaded guilty.

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