Four men who defended protester from riot police sentenced

On April 2, a Minsk court passed a sentence in the criminal case against four residents of Minsk – Yauhen Barouski, Ivan Zyanko, Alyajsei Draba and Uladzimir Katskel, reports the human rights center “Viasna”.

The men were charged under three articles of the Criminal Code: Article 364 (“Violence or threat of violence against an officer of internal affairs”), Article 342 (“Organization and preparation of actions, seriously violating public order, or active participation in them”), Article 218 (“Deliberate destruction or damage to property”).

The court hearing of the criminal case against four Minsk residents. Photo: Belsat

Judge Yulia Blizniuk announced the following sentences to the accused:

Yauhen Barouski: restriction of freedom with sending to an open-type institution – 3 years under the first article, under article 364 – imprisonment for four years. In total – four years’ imprisonment in a general regime penal colony;

Ivan Zenko – three months of arrest under Article 1, two years of restriction of freedom under Article 342 of the Criminal Code, and five years of imprisonment under Article 364. In total, five years in a minimum security penal colony;

Alyaksei Drab and Uladzimir Katskel were found guilty under Article 364 of the Criminal Code – five years in a general regime penal colony each;

These are the same sentences that the state prosecutor Valeryia Taratynko asked for.

In addition, in civil proceedings, Barouski will may have to pay compensation to Minsktrans in the amount of 4,699 rubles. Zyanko must pay 7,073 rubles 75 kopecks to the police department.

Each of the seven policemen, injured in the case, must also receive moral compensation in the amount of two to three thousand rubles.

Assistant Prosecutor Valeryia Taratynko. The court of Frunzenski district continues to consider the criminal case against four Minsk residents Yauhen Barouski, Ivan Zyanko, Alyaksei Drab and Uladzimir Katsakel. March 30, 2021. photo: Belsat

On March 30, the defendants pronounced their last word in court. Of them, only one – Alyaksei Drab, pleaded guilty, and only partially. He expressed his condolences to the official victims, repented and promised to be dutiful in the future. The other defendants pleaded not guilty at all.

Four men were tried for the events of 11 October 2020, when during the dispersal of the Honor March near Pushkinskaya metro station they prevented riot policemen from detaining a man, got into a fight with them, struck several policemen on the heads and broke the windows in the service vehicle.