Youth under repression
Repressions in Belarus continue every month, week, day and are at the same level. There are regular news about the torture of criminal detainees and administrative arrestees. And a month ago, the Investigative Committee announced the creation of a video library to count the participants of the protests. Therefore, we consider it particularly important to collect and publish cases of violations of the rights of young people. You can find articles on this topic in our Crisis 2020 section.
On August 23, the 1st-year student of Brest State University, political prisoner Raman Karpuk was sentenced to 3 years of general regime colony for sending letters to members of election commissions of the February referendum urging them not to falsify the voting results. The court in Brest found Raman guilty in violating Part 2 of Art. 191 of the Criminal Code (Obstruction of the exercise of electoral rights, the right to participate in a referendum). The young man has been in custody since February 8 and was expelled from the university.
22-year-old student of the Belarusian State Academy of Aviation, political prisoner Aliaksandr Zahdai was sentenced to 2.5 years in prison for sharing information about the movement of aircraft in Baranavichy with “unidentified persons.” Judge Valiantsina Kunitskaya in Brest found him guilty of violating Part 1 of Art. 361-4 of the Criminal Code (Promoting extremist activities).
On August 3, the regime’s police detained Halina Patayeva, Ph.D. in Geography, founder of the Viapol travel agency, former associate professor at the Department of Economic Geography of Foreign Countries of the Faculty of Geography at the Belarusian State University. Following her detention, a pro-government Telegram channel posted a video of Halina saying that she had shared materials of Belarusian independent media in social networks in 2020. The same channel claimed that the woman faces punishment for “distribution of extremist materials.” Reports suggest that Halina was detained several hours after screenshots of her Facebook posts condemning the regime were published in a Telegram channel of regime supporters.
Presumably on August 5, 23-year-old BSUIR employee, software engineer Viktoryia Zhdanovich, was detained. In a video posted on the pro-government Telegram channel, the woman claims she had participated in the 2020 protests and blocked traffic, as well as followed channels recognized as “extremist” by the authorities.
On July 25, a teacher of Belarusian language and literature of one of the capital’s gymnasiums was allegedly detained and accused of participating in mass protests and “blocking the roads” in 2020.
On August 22, a Telegram channel reported the detention of the Belarusian State University Faculty of International Relations student Aliaksandra Kandratsienka, who was the administrator of the One Step Closer project, linking school leavers with students of the faculty.
Sniazhana Rahach, former lecturer at the Department of Political Science, Sociology and Social Management of the Belarusian National Technical University, who had been detained in late July, was released. The court fined her for “disobedience to the police”.