It’s been 7 months now since the “case of arsons” was started in Belarus. All this time our friends and comrades have been held behind the bars. Having started with random detentions of activists of radially different political views in September last year, the case is finally coming to an end – it is being brought to trial.
At the moment 7 people targeted in the investigation of “the anarchists’ case” are staying under arrest.
Mikalai Dziadok is charged with *the organisation of an illegal anti-militarist demonstration in September 2009 against a mutual Russian-Belarusian war exercise, when a Joint Staff was attacked with a smoke grenade; *the attack on a Minsk casino in December 2009 as a protest against growing social inequality; *an attack on the Headquarters of the Trade Union Federation on the 1st May with the statement that the state and this formal organisation uses workers in its interests, and doesn’t defend their rights, often preventing workers from cooperating with each other and organising strikes. Mikalai can face 10 years of imprisonment.
Ihar Alinevich is charged with *the attack on the Russian embassy in September 2010 as a solidarity action with Khimki arrestees; *the organisation of the illegal anti-militarist demonstration; *the attack on a Minsk casino; *the attack on a branch of Belarusbank on Mayday as a protest against the financial system of the world; *the attack on the detention centre in September 2010 with the demand to set free all the detainees. Ihar can be sentenced to a 12-year imprisonment.
Aliaksandr Frantskevich is incriminated with *the participation in the illegal anti-militarist demonstration; *the attack on a police station in Soligorsk during the days of common action against the police; *the hacker attack on the Novopolotsk municipal web-page. Aliaksandr is threatened with 10 years of imprisonment.
Maxim Vetkin appears in *the the attack on the Russian embassy in September 2010 and *the attack on a branch of Belarusbank on Mayday. He can face 12 years of imprisonment.
As for the case of the attack on the KGB headquarters in Bobruisk in October 2010 as a solidarity action with the arrested in September, now Jauhen Vas’kovich, Artsiom Prakapenka and Pavel Syramolatau are targeted in the investigation. All of them can be sentenced to a 12-year imprisonment.
It should be pointed out that initially all the detained were charged with only one of the episodes according to the art. 339.2 (Hooliganism), contemplating up to 6 years of jail. In the course of investigation more episodes have been added for each of the accused and the article has been changed into 218.2(3) – intentional destruction of property with the sentence of 12 years of imprisonment. Moreover, all the evidence of the accusation is based on the testimonies of two “witnesses” who had actually taken part in the actions themselves but never got accused of the crime.
During the investigation more than 50 people were interrogated, 14 people spent 3 to 9 days in detention facilities. All these people claimed harsh psychological and in some cases even physical pressure in the course of the investigation.
At the moment most of the accused are on the final stage of familiarisation with materials of case. It is highly probable that the first court hearings is to start on 18th May, that’s why we call all concerned people to make protest actions against unfair accusations and solidarity actions with the Belarusian anarchists on May 12-15.
We welcome solidarity actions of ANY kind as well as other actions aimed at spreading information about the situation with political repression in Belarus and involving local human rights advocates in bringing up the problem about prosecutions in Belarus.