Imprisoned opposition activist turns 24


Yauhen Vaskovich, an imprisoned member of Belarusian Christian Democracy (BCD), turned 24 on February, 26.

Activists of the youth wing of Belarusian Christian Democracy shot a video in support of Mr Vaskovich and took photographs of themselves displaying his image not far from the headquarters of the Committee for State Security (KGB) in Minsk, the BCD press office says.

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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. No one was hurt in the incident.

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.

Yauhen Vaskovich spent 247(!) days in a disciplinary cell since October 2011, the BCD press office reported in mid January, 2014.

www.belsat.eu/en

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