Political prisoner sentenced to 4 years in jail for ‘mounting barricades’ during August protest

Ihar Rudchyk. Photo: spring96.org

On April 2, a verdict in the case of 26-year-old Minsker Ihar Rudchyk was announced in Zavadski district court of the Belarusian capital city, spring96.org reports.

The man was detained in his apartment in early December. Since then, he has been held in the pre-trial detention centre Nr 1 in Minsk. The Belarusian human rights community recognised Rudchyk as a political prisoner.

According to the prosecution’s version, Ihar Rudchyk was taking part in protests at the intersection of Surhanau-Kuibyshau-Byada streets on August 10 from 10.30 pm to 1:00 am. The prosecutor claims that the defendant built barricades, broke up road bricks, climbed onto the top of the barricades, hit a dumpster with a stick, used obscene language and got undressed (i.e. he allegedly took off his T-shirt and waved it when being on the barricades).

In court Ihar Rudchyk admitted his participation in the protest rally as well as climbing onto the barricades and tapping on them. However, he states he never threw obstacles in the police’s way or mounted the barricades. In his last plea, the political prisoner offered an apology for his actions.

Rudchyk was found guilty under Part 2 of Art. 293 of the Criminal Code (‘mass riots’). Judge Alena Kaptsevich has sentenced him to four years in a medium security penal colony. The prosecutor also moved for the convict’s covering damages allegedly caused to state-run agencies Minsktrans (3,000 rubles) and Spetskamunaltrans (21,000 rubles). The motion is be considered as part of civil procedure.

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