Taking pics of Russian troops considered extremism
Seven criminal cases have been opened in the Homieĺ region bordering Ukraine for passing on the information about Russian military vehicles movement to “extremist” Telegram channels, the Investigative Committee reports. Cases are brought under Article 361-4 of the Criminal Code (Promoting extremist activities); detainees face up to six years in prison. Viasna tells what is known about them.
Digital artist arrested under ‘extremist’ Article for filming military vehicles
The Investigative Committee reports the detention of a 31-year-old artist who “sent photos and videos of the military vehicles' movement to anti-war channels”. According to Viasna, the person in question is digital artist Viktar Kulinka, who was detained on March 30. A “repentant” video appeared on pro-government Telegram channels, where he said he had photographed a Russian military convoy heading toward Homieĺ. According to him, he sent the photo to Bielaruski hajun, a popular Telegram project aimed to monitor military activity in Belarus and recognized extremist on March 16.
Earlier the information was received that Viktar was charged under Articles 361-4 and 361-1 of the Criminal Code (Participation in an extremist formation) for his registration in the Peramoha plan, of which the law enforcers learned from his smartphone.
Mother of minor sent video to ‘the biased destructive resource’
The Investigative Committee also reports that the 28-year-old mother of a minor from Mazyr was charged with promoting extremist activities. According to the prosecution, she “shot a video of helicopters moving for a biased destructive resource”. Now the woman is in the Homieĺ pre-trial detention center.
According to human rights activists, Hanna Pyshnik (maiden name Chympayesh) fits the description. She was detained for sending a video to Nexta channel.
Former teacher appears on ‘repentant’ video after filming Russian convoy
Iryna Abdukeryna, a 49-year-old former teacher from Chojniki, was detained at her summer house on the morning of April 5. The reason for the arrest was that the woman had allegedly recorded the movement of a Russian military convoy and forwarded the video to the Bielaruski hajun Telegram channel. This is stated in the “repentant” video of her.
On April 10 the woman was charged under two articles of the Criminal Code at once: 361-1 (Participating in an extremist formation) and 361-4 (Promoting extremist activities). At the moment Iryna is in the detention center in Homieĺ.
Homieĺ resident arrested for sending video to ‘extremist channel’
Main Directorate for Combating Organized Crime and Corruption (GUBOPiK) officers detained 43-year-old Homieĺ resident Aleh Baradzin on April 1. Presumably, it was he who was also reported by the Investigative Committee. The reason for his arrest is that the man shot a video of military equipment at the train station and sent it to an “extremist Telegram channel”. His “repentant” video appeared on pro-government telegram channels.
IT specialist ‘promoted extremism’ by sharing photo of Russian convoy
The 30-year-old resident of Homieĺ, reported by the Investigative Committee, was identified as an IT specialist Andrei Utkin. Like in other cases, a “repentant” video of him appeared on the pro-governmental Telegram channels, where he says he has taken a picture of a convoy of Russian military equipment and sent it to the Bielaruski hajun Telegram channel.
According to preliminary information, Andrei is incriminated under Article 361-1 of the Criminal Code (Participation in an extremist formation) and Article 361-4 of the Criminal Code (Promoting extremist activities).
Minor student and cab driver accused of extremism not identified yet
Also, the Investigative Committee reports that a minor student of a vocational school has been involved in a criminal case under Article 361-4 of the Criminal Code. It is reported that a resident of Mazyr sent to an “extremist" channel a video of the movement of military equipment. He was taken into custody. The name and location of the guy are still unknown.
The report of the Investigative Committee also states that a 37-year-old taxi driver from Homieĺ and a 30-year-old city resident were detained under Part 1 of Article 361-4 of the Criminal Code. His name and whereabouts are not ascertained yet.
Since the onset of the invasion of Ukraine by Russian troops, including from Belarusian territory, the “Rail War” has unfolded in Belarus. To slow down and prevent the movement of Russian military equipment into Ukraine, Belarusians are disrupting the railway network. Despite the state considering such actions as acts of terrorism, sabotage on the railroad does not stop: over a month more than a dozen of such acts have been recorded.