3 and 2 ½ years: prosecution requests prison terms for Viasna members in Homieĺ
Viasna activist Leanid Sudalenka should be sentenced to 3 years in a penal colony, the prosecutors insisted during the politically motivated trial in Homieĺ. The same punishment was requested for volunteer Tatsiana Lasitsa, while Maryia Tarasenka could be sentenced to two and a half years in prison. Tarasenka is under house arrest, and Leanid and Tatsiana have been in custody since January 18 and 21, respectively. Judge Siarhei Salouski is expected to announce his verdict in the coming days.
In total, about 200 people were interrogated in the trial. According to Sudalenka, 61 people testified in court – mostly clients who contacted the human rights activist seeking legal assistance:
“All the witnesses told the truth, and that’s what matters most. It’s nice to hear these people say “Thank you” to me while I’m in the cell. And that’s despite the court’s warning.”
The three activists are accused of “organization and preparation of actions that grossly violate public order” (Part 1 of Article 342 of the Criminal Code), and “training and preparation of persons to participate in such actions, as well as their financing or other material support” (Part 2 of Article 342 of the Criminal Code).
According to Sudalenka, the case file features such absurd accusations as buying firewood to a family whose father was convicted of “rioting”, appearing in a video on YouTube to explain the essence of peaceful assembly, a post on social media calling to meet a protester after term in a detention center, arranging a seminar on digital security for human rights defenders, and payment of fines, court fees and the services of lawyers.