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Criminal case against four anarchists to be considered in private

2022 2022-03-29T18:02:16+0300 2022-03-29T18:03:06+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

On March 29, court hearings in the criminal case against anarchists and political prisoners Aliaksandr Bialou, Yauhen Rubashka, Artsiom Salavei, and Artsiom Salavei started in Minsk Regional Court. The case is being considered by Judge Alena Misnik.

Twenty minutes after the trial began, the hearing was closed at the request of prosecutor Aliaksandr Ramanovich, known for other political trials; he supported the state prosecution in the trials against political prisoner student Uladzislau Martsinovich, political prisoner software engineer Raman Kananovich, political prisoner anti-fascist Uladzislau Zianevich, and others.

He argued that this criminal case was separated from another one, in which a preliminary investigation is still ongoing, with the alleged accomplices of the accused also being investigated. In addition, the case records contain information deemed extremist. In this regard, the prosecutor requested to consider the case in private. He also noted that this is necessary to ensure the secrecy of Investigation, guaranteed by law, as well as to exclude the dissemination of content deemed extremist. All the defendants and their lawyers opposed it. Despite this, Alena Misnik granted Ramanovich's request. From now on, the case will be heard in a closed session. She added that, in addition to the reasons specified by the state prosecutor, the case records contained data about the persons that were not to be disclosed at the trial.

It is known that Volha Yemelyanenka–a representative of the civil plaintiff Minsktrans–is also present in court. She was reportedly a member of the precinct commission for the presidential election in 2020 and represented the Minsk city branch of the Belarusian Social and Sports Party. According to the Voice (Golos) platform, the results at this polling station were rigged.

Four anarchists are charged under Article 342 of the Criminal Code (Organization and preparation of actions that grossly violate public order or active participation in them) and Part 3 of Article 361-1 (Creation of an extremist formation, or participation in it).

Yauhen Rubashka and Aliaksandr Bialou are both activists of the anarchist movement. They were arrested on July 29, 2021, in Minsk. Their apartments were searched and they were beaten during the arrest. Police officers put a plastic bag on Yauhen's head to force him to give access to his phone and computer. Detention center officers took away all of his books and placed him on a preventive register as prone to extremism, which means a record in his personal file, special treatment, and additional work with a psychologist.

Artsiom Salavei, born in 1996, was arrested on August 4, 2021, and beaten by police officers: they tortured him and threatened to rape him in order to obtain access to his phone. On August 5, he was sentenced to 15 days of administrative arrest in Zavodsky District Court for disorderly conduct under Article 19.1 of the Code of Administrative Offences (he had allegedly acted violently when taken to the police department). After serving his sentence, he was re-detained as a suspect in a criminal case. Artsiom Salavei, born in 1995, was also arrested on August 4, 2021, but already as part of the criminal case.


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