Son of a priest from Hrodna sentenced to three and a half years in prison for inciting hatred
On December 8, the Hrodna Regional Court completed a lengthy consideration of the criminal case of Andrei Ausievich. At first, he was accused of insulting a government official under Articles 369 and 361 of the Criminal Code (“calls for actions aimed at causing harm to the national security of Belarus”). After a long break in the process, Ausievich was charged with inciting racial, national, religious or other social hatred (Part 1 of Article 130 of the Criminal Code).
According to the accusation, last year Andrei Avsievich, publicly insulted the representative of the authorities, the local police officer, in comments in the Telegram channel “Hrodna 97%”.
Ausievich was charged with the threat of violence against a law enforcement officer. He was taken into custody in May. A linguistic expertize was carried out, according to which Ausievich’s comment didn’t contain any threat to the police officer. However, the investigation agency paid no attention to the expert conclusions. Instead, they re-qualified Ausievich’s case and pressed charges under a “terrorist” article against him (“public calls for committing an act of terrorism aimed at causing harm to national security”).
During the trial, the expert confirmed the conclusions of the linguistic examination and testified in favor of the defendant. Another examination was appointed, which also testified to the absence of threats from Ausievich.
Nevertheless, judge Mikalaj Rachynskij granted prosecutor Liudmila Herasimenka’s request and sentenced Andrei Avsievich to three and a half years in prison.