Human rights activist Sudalenka charged under dubious pretext

Human rights activist Leanid Sudalenka has told in a letter to his girlfriend that he was finally charged and was getting acquainted with the case, Radio Liberty reports.

In a letter dated May 31, he said that he’d get acquainted with the case materials since early June. He was finally charged under Part 1 and 2 of Article 342 of the Criminal Code (“Organization and financing of riots”) on May 28.

“Remember how I helped a village family with firewood in winter? The investigation considered that as organizing protests. Because then, in February, their father was convicted of participation in the protests,” the human rights activist writes from prison.

Indeed, in winter, Leanid Sudalenka posted information on Facebook, asking concerned people to help the villagers to buy firewood, as otherwise the family of many children would be put in “socially precarious condition.” Later, the head of the family was convicted of allegedly participating in a mass riot.

“Organization of mass disorder,” the investigation also considered a post of a human rights activist on Facebook with a proposal to meet a resident of Homiel from the detention center. “This means that I organized the crowd and wanted to control it,” Sudalenka wrote in a letter.

Leanid Sudalenka is chairman of the Homiel branch of the Human Rights Center “Vyasna,” a human rights activist with 20 years of experience in helping to restore the violated rights of citizens. In the morning of January 18th, he was detained on the way to his office in a criminal case brought under article 342 of the Criminal Code (“Organization and preparation of actions that grossly violate public order”). As a result, he was recognized as a political prisoner.