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Two “railway guerillas” receive 22 years of jail, and another released under an amnesty

2023 2023-02-10T19:37:34+0300 2023-02-10T19:40:21+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

On February 10, the Mahilioŭ Regional Court passed a verdict to three “rail guerillas” from Babrujsk: Dzmitryi Klimau, Uladzimir Auramtsau, and Yauhen Minkevich. The first two were sentenced to 22 years in a penal colony each, and the latter was sentenced to 18 months of imprisonment. It is noted that Minkevich was partially released from punishment for a period of one year under the law “On Amnesty in connection with the National Unity Day”. Taking into account the time in custody the punishment is considered to have been served. According to the prosecution, the men were involved in the destruction of two relay cabinets near Asipovičy. Judge Ihar Shvedau considered the case behind closed doors for two weeks.    

Владимир Аврамцев, Евгений Минкевич, Дмитрий Климов
Uladzimir Auramtsau, Yauhen Minkevich, and Dzmitryi Klimau.

In total, political prisoners were charged with five articles of the Criminal Code:

  • part 3 of Art. 289 “An act of terrorism committed by an organized group”
  • part 2 of Art. 290-4 “Establishing or participating in an organization for the purpose of terrorist activity”
  • part 1 of Art. 356 “High treason”
  • part 4 of Art. 309 “Intentional disrepair of a vehicle or communication lines”
  • part 2 of Art. 406 “Misprision”

It was Yauhen Minkevich who was tried for failure to report a crime under Article 406 of the Criminal Code, “Misprision”. He was not held in custody before the trial. 

On the night of March 30, 2022, three “guerillas” from Babrujsk were arrested with the support of a SWAT squad. This was reported by the Ministry of Internal Affairs on April 6. In the video made by the law enforcers, one of the arrested has bandaged knees and hardly answers the questions of the investigators, while the other one has blood on his face, and a third one looks very scared. The state body reported then that “during the arrest, the men showed active resistance and tried to escape”. The security forces used lethal weapons during the arrest. Dzmitryi Klimau was wounded and spent some time in a medical facility. In the video, his knees are bandaged during the arrest and he limps in the detention center. The rest received medical treatment on the spot.

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