Updated at 15:24,15-04-2021

Over 900 Criminal Cases Opened Against Supporters Of Change In Belarus


Over 900 Criminal Cases Opened Against Supporters Of Change In Belarus
Below are the most common articles of the Criminal Code under which cases have been opened:
During the electoral campaign and subsequent protests in Belarus, more than 900 criminal cases were opened against participants of the presidential race, their team members, as well as peaceful protesters, the deregistered Vesna human rights center reports.

- Art. 293 [Riots] at least 157 persons;
- Art. 342 [Organization or active participation in group acts that grossly violate public order] The cases were opened in May and June [Sergei Tikhanovsky’s case]. After the Sunday march to Kurapaty on 1 November, 231 people became suspects under this article;
- Art. 363 [Resistance to a police officer];
- Art. 364 [Violence or threat of violence against an employee of the internal affairs bodies];
- Art. 243 [Tax evasion] Viktor Babariko’s team activists and employees of companies who helped the presidential candidates or those affected by actions of the security forces;
- Art. 188 [Slander];
- Art. 339 [Hooliganism].

Vesna collects information about people whose criminal prosecution is related to the election campaign and after it. As of 5 November, the details of 450 people from different cities have been collected, 98 of them are recognised as political prisoners.

As of 9 November, the prosecutor’s office refered more than 100 criminal cases related to riots or participation in unauthorized events to court. In 16 criminal cases, the courts have already passed sentences – either imprisonment or restraint of liberty or heavy fines.

About 1,800 people have filed complaints about the prosecution of law enforcers for the violence. In the coming days, a three-month period for pre-investigation checks on allegations of violence by the security forces expires. Some have already received refusals to initiate criminal proceedings.

How many criminal cases have been brought against law enforcers? So far none such cases have been reported. Three people died during the peaceful protests. Criminal cases on the fact of their death have not been initiated either.