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Tattoo with the Chase, passport cover, photo of a T-shirt with red-white-red symbols: what Belarusians were tried for in September

2023 2023-10-10T14:16:14+0300 2023-10-10T14:16:14+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

Last month, the security forces continued to persecute Belarusians protesting against the actions of the authorities, or simply read the independent media. Throughout the country, security forces have been detaining dozens of people every day for more than three years, searching apartments, beating people and placing them in isolation cells with terrible conditions. In September, the human rights defenders of Viasna became aware of at least 386 cases of prosecution in administrative cases. At least 339 politically motivated cases were considered in the courts, and at least 79 arrests and 46 fines were imposed. Viasna Observes has compiled a monthly list of the strangest and most ridiculous reasons why Belarusians were tried in September. 

Карцар у ІЧУ на Акрэсціна. Ілюстрацыя Вольгі Пранкевіч
The punishment cell in the temporary detention facility on Akrestsina. Illustration by Volha Prankevich

A welder from Sianno was fined for the Chase on the cover of his passport

According to the case file, the man showed his passport to the policemen in the Sennetski district police department, and his passport had the Chase coat of arms on its cover. This was regarded as "unauthorized picketing" and a report was drawn up under Article 24.23 of the Administrative Code. The man did not admit his guilt.

The court imposed a fine of 2,220 rubles on him.

Sent to jail for a tattoo with the Chase

On September 12, the Biarezinski District Court sentenced a man working as a loader to 15 days of arrest. He was accused of "exposing and showing a tattoo of the Chase coat of arms on the shin of his right leg." At the same time, the man just wore shorts outside.

Days of detention for a cap with red-white-red symbols

In Haradok on September 4, a local resident was tried under Article 24.23 of the Administrative Code: the man was detained for "picketing" with his cap which had white-red-white stripes and the Chase symbol.

He did not admit guilt at the trial. The result was an arrest for two days, and the court decided to leave the cap with the case materials.

Arrest for the slogan "Long live Belarus"

On September 5, a Lida resident was convicted for the slogan "Long live Belarus", which he allegedly shouted while intoxicated near the local House of Culture.

The verdict was 15 days in jail.

Trials of detainees from the Homel region area bordering Ukraine

In early September, pro-government Telegram channels reported that a "scouring" had taken place in the Homel region area bordering Ukraine. Detentions took place in Brahin, Lojeu, Kamaryn, and Khojniki.

According to human rights activists, in Brahin on September 1, at least eight administrative cases were considered in court, the results of which are being established. All the detainees were tried under Article 19.11 of the Administrative Code (distribution of extremist materials): after checking their phones, the police found subscriptions to "extremist channels".

In Lojeu, from September 5 to 8, five people were convicted for subscriptions to "extremist channels". Four people were fined 370 rubles, another person was fined 555 rubles.

Mass arrests in Navapolatsk for "extremism"

Mass detentions took place in Navapolatsk on September 6. The very next day, the Navapolatsk Court considered the administrative cases of nine local residents at once, eight of whom were sent to jail. They were found guilty of "spreading extremist materials" under Article 19.11 of the Administrative Code.

The basis for the administrative cases were subscriptions on social media to "extremist channels, including Lusterka, Euroradio, Rabochy Rukh", as well as a link to Trybuna on Twitter.

As a result, judge Zinaida Balabolava found everyone guilty and arrested eight people for 15 days and fined a woman 1,110 rubles.

A resident of Baranavičy was arrested for the subscription to the Kalinouski Regiment channel

On September 15, the Court of the Baranavičy District and Baranavičy convicted a local resident for "storing for the purpose of distributing " a Facebook video with the logo of Kalinouski's Regiment, which is now fighting in Ukraine. The man pleaded guilty at the trial.

The result was a 10-day arrest.

Day of detention for "picketing" on social media with a photo in a T-shirt

In Hlybokaje, in early September, a man was convicted of "picketing" on Vkontakte. A report was drawn up against him for publishing a photo of a black T-shirt with an inscription saying "Belarus", a white-red-white flag, and the Chase coat of arms, as well as for his photo in a white T-shirt with the image of the Chase.

The court arrested the man for 10 days.

"Left a like to increase the rating of a video on the Belsat information channel"

On September 20, the Court of the Maskouski District of Brest considered an administrative case under Article 19.11 of the Administrative Code (distribution of extremist materials). The Brest resident was accused of subscribing to "extremist channels", as well as of leaving a like under a video on the Belsat channel on YouTube.

The result is 10 days of arrest.

The father of political prisoner Mikita Zalatarou was convicted for the fourth time in a row: he has been behind bars for 45 days

Mikhail Lapunou was charged three times under Part 1 of Article 19.11 of the Administrative Code (distribution of extremist materials).

On September 22, on the eve of the release after serving the third consecutive administrative arrest, judge Siarhei Karmanovich considered another administrative case against Mikhail in the Central District Court. Again, he was found guilty of committing an offense and sent to jail for the fourth time, writes Homel Viasna.

Mikhail's son Mikita 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.

In Navapolatsk, a paramedic was arrested for four Facebook subscriptions for 15 days

As it became known to Vitsebsk Viasna, on September 14, the Navapolatsk Court sentenced a paramedic-laboratory assistant of the microbiological laboratory of the Navapolatsk City Center of Hygiene and Epidemiology Hennadz Vazmitel to 15 days of detention. He was accused of "possession of extremist materials with the aim of distribution" under Part 2 of Article 19.11 of the Administrative Code. This decision was made by judge Zinaida Balabolava.

"I painted a flag which at that time was the state flag." A man from the Rahačou district was fined for a red-white-red flag painted on a fence 30 years ago

On September 6, a trial of a resident of the agro-town of Lučyn of the Rahačou district took place in the Rahačou District Court. He was accused of "unauthorized picketing" (Article 24.23 of the Administrative Code) with a white-red-white flag on the fence near his house.

At the trial, the man explained that "when he bought his house and equipped it, he painted a flag on the fence to decorate it, and at that time it was a state flag."

As a result, the court found the man guilty and fined him 740 rubles.

"Provided the policeman with access to extremist materials, thereby distributing them." A man was arrested for Zerkalo app

In the Biarezinski District Court on September 11, a man was convicted under Article 19.11 of the Administrative Code (distribution of extremist materials). According to the case materials, the police found News of Belarus — application on his phone.

The court noted that the man kept the prohibited information products specifically for distribution, which is confirmed, among other things, by the fact that "he provided a police officer with access to extremist materials, thereby distributing them."

The result of the trial was a 15-day arrest.

A poet from Barysau was arrested for symbols on his phone

On September 26, the Barysauski District Court issued a decree on the administrative arrest of 70-year-old Uladzimir Talkach for 10 days. Images of red-white-red symbols and swastikas, which he uploaded back in 2021, were found on his phone.

Vitsebsk software engineer was arrested for 7 days for spreading "extremism"

The judge of the Pershamaiski District Court of Vitsebsk, Mikhail Yurchanka, on September 13, decided to punish Aliaksei Siadziaka, a software engineer, with arrest for 7 days for the distribution of extremist materials.

At the hearing, it was established that in 2020 Aliaksei posted on his VKontakte page videos previously published on TUT.BY community page, which was included in the republican list of extremist materials.

Former political prisoner Siarhei Hardzievich was arrested for 15 days 

Siarhei Hardziyevich in court. Photo:

This is reported by the sources of Mediazona.

Recall that the journalist was detained on September 14 at the border, when Hardzievich was returning from Poland to Belarus.

A Russian citizen was fined for spreading "extremism" in Vitsebsk

The judge of the Pershamaiski District Court of Vitsebsk Mikhail Yurchanka on September 13 decided to fine a citizen of the Russian Federation Natalia Kuksionok for subscribing to an "extremist" page. This is the second administrative case this year considered over the spread of "extremism" in relation to Kuksionok.

According to the administrative report, the woman was subscribed to the NEXTA channel on Instagram.

Kuksionok did not admit her guilt in committing an offense at the court hearing and denied intent to distribute extremist materials, writes Vitsebsk Viasna.

Hrodna priest fined for "spreading extremism"

Priest Andrei Nazdryn was detained on a denunciation some time ago. Security forces checked his phone and social media, and found a subscription to the Instagram page of Hrodna journalist Ruslan Kulevich, whose social media pages were recognized as extremist materials in January.

Judge Alena Toustsik-Samoila imposed a fine of 555 roubles on the priest. The "crime weapon" — his mobile phone — was also seized.

Illia Dvoiryn was convicted for pouring paint over a car with Crimean license plates and the letter Z

A resident of Navapolatsk, who was recently convicted of pouring paint over a car with Crimean license plates and the letter Z, was detained again on October 4 right at work.

The court decided to arrest him for 15 days.

Recall, on September 28, the Court of the City of Navapolatsk found Dvoiryn guilty under Article 339 of the Criminal Code (hooliganism) and sentenced him to 1 year of probation. The case was considered by judge Vital Lapko.

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