Babruysk case: shedding new light


Mini-film “The Belarusian Wall” given over to so called Babruysk case has appeared on the Internet. Its authors made an attempt to establish real motives of the participants of the demonstration attack on Babruysk KGB building on the night of 16th/17th October, 2010: it was pelted with Molotov cocktails.
On May 18, 2011 Babruysk court sentenced activists Yauhen Vaskovich, Pavel Syramolatau and Artsiom Prakapenka to different terms of imprisonment (up to 7 years). Based on articles 218(3) and 339(2) of the Belarusian Criminal Code, the three men were charged with “intended acts of vandalism“ and “purposeful acts causing major damage“. They were adjudged guilty in arsoning the local building of the KGB.
Public prosecutor Toustsik demanded the activists be sentenced to 7.5-8 years of imprisonment in a medium security penal colony. According to her, “the attack on the KGB was nothing else but a spit in the eye of society and the demonstration of impunity”. The Belarusian state-owned television pictured the activists as unprincipled persons who are ready to crush everything on their path.
In their turn, the defense lawyers stressed that their defendants had given evidence under compulsion. They stated that the young men had no intention to burn the building aiming only at endamagement. According to the lawyers, Vaskovich, Syramolatau and Prakapenka wanted to respond to secret services’ inequitable acts towards democracy and civil activists.
Pavel Syramolatau and Artsiom Prakapenka pled guilty on the charges and asked to court to mitigate the sentence. Yauhen Vaskovich, in his concluding speech, stated he did not regret the committed act, adding that it is his holy obligation to protect Belarusian national values. „Long live Belarus“was his final sentence.
At the moment Yauhen Vaskovich is serving his term in Mahiliou prison No 4 where he was repeatedly put in a punishment isolation cell. Artsiom Prakapenka is kept in Shklou penal colony No 17. As for Pavel Syramolatau, he was released in September, 2012 after filing a petition for pardon to Aliaksandr Lukashenka.
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