Former investigator and initiator of the “ByChange” project Yauhen Yushkevich, who is now in jail, has been taken on a non-disclosure pledge and charged with two more counts, reports the human rights center Vyasna.
Yushkevich was arrested on April 19 on suspicion of committing an act of terrorism. His house was searched while he was taken to the KGB detention center, where his lawyer was not allowed for a long time. Now Yushkevich is in pre-detention center #1. His term of imprisonment has been extended until August 19.
The incident in which Yushkevich is accused of an act of terrorism is unknown.
Yushkevich is now also charged under Article 342 (“Organization or active participation in group actions grossly violating the public order”) and Article 293 (“Mass riots”).
Persecution and detention as revenge
Yushkevich considers his prosecution and detention to be revenge for the video of his father’s car being bugged, which he used on March 17 to arrive at the interrogation in the Investigative Committee.
Recently he contracted COVID-19: he lost taste and smell for two weeks and spent most of his time sleeping from weakness. Then he recovered.
Yauhen Yushkevich was detained in a criminal case on November 25th of last year. As a suspect under part 1 of article 342 of the Criminal Code for organizing and preparing actions that grossly violate public order or active participation in them. Human rights activists have recognized him as a political prisoner. On December 4th, his preventive measure was changed to his written pledge not to leave the town, and he was released.
On May 4th, it was reported that Alyaksandr Lukashenka deprived more than 80 law enforcers of their ranks for “discreditable actions,” including Yauhen Yushkevich.
Yushkevich worked as an investigator for several years. Then he left the IC and took up programming. In the summer of 2020, he became one of the founders of the project “ByChange” to help train and retrain law enforcement officers, officials, and other citizens of Belarus who lost their jobs because of their political views.