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Photo of a dog, slogan "Glory to Ukraine", red-white-red stickers: results of administrative prosecution in August

2023 2023-09-13T14:47:34+0300 2023-09-13T15:05:01+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

Harsh detentions of Belarusians continue daily throughout Belarus, most of whom are sent to jail on administrative cases. In August, Viasna human rights defenders became aware of at least 615 cases of political persecution, including at least 307 administrative cases. At least 98 administrative arrests and 65 fines were imposed by the judges. Viasna Observes has compiled a monthly list of the strangest and most ridiculous reasons why Belarusians were tried in August. 

Temporary detention center in Minsk. Illustration by Volha Prankevich
Center for Isolation of Offenders on Akrestsina Illustration by Volha Prankevich

Minsk resident was arrested for the slogan "Glory to Ukraine" on Zybitskaya street.

According to the police report, V. Bulaukau was detained on the night of August 18-19 in Minsk on Zybitskaya street.The reason for the detention was the slogan "Glory to Ukraine", which allegedly constituted "unauthorized picketing" by the Minsk resident. Bulaukau did not admit his guilt and said that he did not shout any slogans. As a result, the judge of the Central District of Minsk, Tatsiana Sierhienka, found the man guilty under Article 24.23 of the Administrative Code and sentenced him to 15 days of arrest.

Fine and arrest for white-red-white stickers on the car

On August 10, the Luninetski district court held a trial of a local resident who was accused of an "unauthorized picket" with a white-red-white bumper sticker on her car. The court decided to fine the woman 1,110 rubles. It is known that she has a minor child.

In addition, the court of the Maskouski district of Minsk on August 18 also saw the case of "picketing" with a sticker. A Minsk resident was detained for placing a sticker with the national emblem Pahonia on his license plate. The court arrested him for 12 days.

In Navapolatsk, a man was convicted for a photo against the background of mountains and flags of Georgia and Ukraine from his vacation in 2021

On August 17, a trial of a local resident, who had been detained the day before in the morning, took place in the court of Navapolatsk. The man was charged under Article 24.23 of the Administrative Code (unauthorized picketing). The reason for the detention was a photo published on Instagram by a resident of Navapolatsk from his vacation in Georgia. On the photo, he stands against the background of mountains and flags of Georgia and Ukraine. At the same time, the photo had been published on August 8, 2021, but the police noticed it only two years later.

The Navapolatsk resident partially admitted guilt in court.

A resident of Navapolatsk was fined for a photo of a white dog in a red jumpsuit and the caption saying "Long live Belarus! No to violence!"

Navapolatsk dentist Aliaksandr Hrudnitski was twice sentenced to 15 days of arrest, and his wife Alla Hrudnitskaya was fined twice. Moreover, the last fine, which was given by the judge of the Navapolatsk City Court Zinaida Balabolava, is as much as 3,700 rubles, and the total amount of fines is 4,810 rubles.

On August 22, Alla was found guilty of "unauthorized picketing" under Article 24.23 of the Administrative Code.

The woman did not admit her guilt at both the first and the second trial.

The father of political prisoner Mikita Zalatarou was sentenced to arrest three times 

Recently, another trial of Homel resident Mikhail Lapunou took place in the court of the Central District of HomelAs in both previous times, he was tried under Part 2 of Article 19.11 (distribution of extremist materials), writes the Homel Viasna. Judge Alesia Asipava sentenced him to another 15 days of arrest. Earlier, Mikhail was sentenced to 30 days of arrest.

Mikhail's son is one of the youngest detainees in the aftermaths of the 2020 protests. At that time, 16-year-old Mikita, a patient with epilepsy, was charged under three articles of the Criminal Code and sentenced to 5 years in an educational colony. Later, another criminal case was opened against the boy for allegedly attacking a pre-trial detention center employee and threatening his family. The total sentence for Mikita was 4 years and 6 months in an educational colony.

Main Directorate for Combating Organized Crime and Corruption detained the boy because of the white-red-white stripes on his jacket

According to pro-government Telegram channels, the boy had already been detained earlier because of an "extremist" tattoo, which he was forced to cover.

He did this and came to report to the security forces. According to the message, the guy was sentenced to 15 days of arrest for his jacket with white and red stripes.

A builder from Moscow was arrested for a picket on social media and the spread of "extremism" in Polatsk

Vadzim Berdnikau is a resident of the agro-town of Harany, the father of three minor children, who works as a builder in a Moscow company. On August 16, judge of the Court of the Polatsk District and Polatsk, Uladzimir Biasetski arrested the man for 25 days for distributing "extremist" materials on social media and "unauthorized picketing."

The detention occurred after his neighbor Piotr Dudaronak informed the police that Berdnikau had a tattoo of the Pahonia coat of arms on his leg.

When Berdnikau was detained, it was found that he really had a tattoo with the image of the coat of arms on the calf of his right leg.

When considering the case in court, it was also found that on December 10, 2020, Vadzim posted and stored information on his Vkontakte social media page containing the TUT.BY logo, which the authorities included in the republican list of extremist materials.

The journalist of Ranak Andrei Lipsky was fined 740 roubles

On the morning of August 2, people from Main Directorate for Combating Organized Crime and Corruption broke into the journalist's apartment together with riot police.

They were looking for Belarusian symbols in the apartment. Nothing was found, but two smartphones were confiscated: one of the journalist and one of his little daughter, reports the Homel Viasna.

After the search, Lipski was taken to the police department — there the district inspector wrote up a report on "extremist materials." The reason for writing up the report was Lipski's subscription on Youtube channels Zhyvie Belarus and Telekanal Priamiy, and on VKontakte group Chai z Malinavym Varenniem. All these pages were previously included in the list of "extremist" sources. Before the trial, Lipski was placed in the temporary detention facility of the Svetlahorsk district police department.

On August 3, judge Hulevich gave the journalist a fine of 740 roubles and confiscated his smartphone as income to the state.

A resident of Orsha was fined a large sum for a picket on social media

On July 27, the judge of the Court of the Orsha District and Orsha Mikalai Drahunou decided to fine Orsha resident Inha Tylchyk 1110 rubles for holding a picket on social media.

The court found that from November 14, 2020 to July 18, 2023 the "offender", in violation of the order of picketing, for the purpose of publicly expressing her socio-political sentiments, took part in a mass event.

This was expressed in the fact that Inha was photographed against the background of a "white-red-white cloth", while she did not receive permission from the Orsha district executive committee, writes the Vitsebsk Viasna.

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