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Minsk court jails ex-presidential candidate Dzmitryeu for protest role

2023 2023-04-07T12:09:37+0300 2023-04-07T12:12:54+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
Andrey Dzmitryeu was already convicted for participating in protests in 2011.

On April 6, the Maskoŭski District Court of Minsk considered the criminal case of former presidential candidate Andrey Dzmitryeu. The politician was convicted of “organizing and preparing actions that grossly violate public order, or actively participating in them” under part 1 of Article 342 of the Criminal Code.

Judge Katsiaryna Murashka considered the case.

Political prisoner Andrey Dzmitryeu was arrested on January 11, 2023. The Investigative Committee reported that Dzmitryeu allegedly participated in the 2020 post-election protest, therefore he became a suspect under Article 342 of the Criminal Code which is routinely used to persecute protesters in Belarus. The Committee informed that the politician “crossed the state border of Belarus 599 times, 33 of them after 2020. The investigation assumes that Dzmitryeu's contacts with representatives of the West and the USA may indicate the coordination of his ‘political’ activities from abroad.”

Andrey Dzmitryeu is a co-founder and co-chairman of the Havary Praudu! (bel. Tell the Truth!) civil campaign and association. In 2021, their offices were searched, after which the organization's accounts were blocked. On August 12, 2021, Dzmitryeu was detained for a short time, but later he was released. Before that, Dzmitryeu had said that he had received numerous threats.

Before the trial, he was held in pre-trial detention center No. 1 in Minsk.

On April 5, the State Prosecutor's Office requested a two-year prison sentence for the ex-presidential candidate.

The court reduced the requested term by six months.

It is noteworthy that in 2011 the defendant had already been convicted by the Frunzienski District Court of Minsk of a similar “crime” and sentenced to 24 months of imprisonment with a suspended term of two years probation.


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