Pro-Lukashenka police accuse political prisoner Marfa Rabkova of running criminal anarchist organisation

Marfa Rabkova.

The Investigative Committee has opened a criminal case under Parts 1 and 2 of Article 285 of the Criminal Code over ‘establishiing an international criminal anarchist organisation which consists of a number of extremist groups banned in Belarus’, the notorious GUBAZiK/GUBOPiK (Main Department for Combatting Organised Crime and Corruption) reports on its official Telegram channel.

According to GUBAZIK, Marfa Rabkova, a volunteer of the human rights centre Viasna, is one of the leaders of the above mentioned anarchist. She has been behind bars for over a year.

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Today’s post by GUBAZiK contains a link to the website of the Investigative Committee; in turn, the committee reports solving the case of arsoning the building of Homiel district tax inspection in 2017. They say that the investigation identified the persons involved in the arson. The Investigative Committee fails to give names, only ‘a 26-year-old girl’ and ‘a 31-year-old man’ are mentioned. In addition, the two citizenswere administrators of a number of anarchist Internet resources and Telegrams channels that were recognised as extremist in Belarus, the committee added.

Marfa Rabkova, a coordinator of the volunteer service of HRC Viasna, has been kept in Minsk detention centre Nr 1 on Valadarski Street for since mid September 2020. In the wake of the arrest, Marfa was charged under Article 293-3 of the Criminal Code (‘training or other preparation of persons to participate in mass riot or financing of such activities’). In February, new charges under Article 130-3 (‘incitement of racial, national, religious or other social enmity or hatred, committed by a group of persons’), as well as under Article 285-2 (‘participation in a criminal organisation’) were levelled against the girl. If found guilty, she may face up to 12 years of imprisonment.

In early May, Marfa Rabkova was placed on the preventive list as ‘a person prone to extremism’. The Belarusian human rights community recognised her as a political prisoner.

‘I show good judgement and careful thought,’ human rights activist Marfa Rabkova writes from jail