Belarusian protesters continue to be detained in Russia

Illustrative photo by readers

On November 1, 24-year-old Belarusian citizen Yana Pinchuk was detained by Russian criminal investigation officers in St. Petersburg, the human rights centre Viasna reports. In Belarus, a criminal case was launched against the woman over her taking part in post-election protests.

Yana left Belarus about a year ago; she worked as a waitress in Russia. According to her boyfriend, the girl never had difficulty travelling to Moscow from St. Petersburg and back; she was not even aware of the Belarusian authorities’ opening a criminal case against her for ‘inciting hostility and calling for actions aimed at harming national security’.

On Monday evening, Yana Pinchuk was taken to the prosecutor’s office from the 16th police department on Vasilievsky Island. A defence lawyer has already visited her.

Belarusian political analyst accused of insulting Lukashenka flees Russia

Notably, it is not the first case of detaining the Belarusian protesters in Russia. On October 29, the Moscow police detained Homiel resident Mikhail Zubkou on the subway. The man was asked to show his ID; it turned out that he was on the wanted list. In September 2020, Zubkou was detained during a protest march and sentenced to 15 days in jail. After serving the term, he was not contacted or sought by the security forces.

In July 2021, the well-known Belarusian singer Anzhalika Ahurbash said that the Lukashenka regime charged her with two criminal counts (‘inciting hatred’ and ‘insulting the president’). The woman is currently residing in Moscow.

In August 2021, Belarusian MMA fighter and boxer Alyaksei Kudzin was sentenced to 2.5 years of imprisonment in a minimum security penal colony under Part 2 of Article 363 of the Criminal Code (‘resistance to a police officer or other person protecting public order in coincidence with the use of violence or the threat to use it’). He was arrested in Russia at the beginning of the year and then extradited to Belarus. On the back of the 2020 presidential election, Kudzin, a multiple world champion in kickboxing and Thai boxing, showed up at a protest rally in the town of Maladzechna. When internal troops were trying to grab him, he knocked out a policeman.

Boxer Kudzin’s appeal against extradition to Belarus dismissed