Russian academics sign letter in support of young Belarusian scientist

Russian scientists have signed an open letter to the Prosecutor General of Belarus Andrey Shved and head of Minsk City Court Tatsyana Tupik.

The academics urge to release Artsyom Bayarski from custody. The appeal was signed by 47 representatives of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

“Young scientists are the future of science and the future of the state. We call on the prosecutor’s office and the court to have fair and unbiased handling of the case. We ask the court to release Artsyom Bayarski from custody. We are closely following the case of Artsyom Bayarski,” reads the text of the appeal.

Artsyom Bayarski is a 19-year-old student of chemistry at BSU, accused of administering the telegram channel “My Country Belarus” and its chat room. To get a video of the confession for Azaronak‘s telegram channel, the police beat the student. Artsyom was charged under Article 342 (“Organization and preparation of actions that grossly violate public order or active participation in them”) and Article 361-1 (“Establishment of an extremist formation”) of the Criminal Code. Human rights activists recognized the boy as a political prisoner.

Four times Artsyom was a scholarship recipient of the President’s special fund to support talented youth, gifted students, and pupils. After the elections in August 2020, the teenager signed an open letter renouncing this status in protest.