Criminal case opened against former director of environmental organisation APB Birdlife

Viktar Fyanchuk, a former head of the environmental watchdog Protection of Motherland’s Birds (aka APB Birdlife) has been detained for another 10 days. He is facing a charge under Article 342 of the Criminal Code (‘organisation and preparation of actions that grossly violate public order’).

Viktar Fyanchuk. Photo: Ахова птушак Бацькаўшчыны / Facebook

The man has already served a 12-day term imposed on him in early September.

Fyanchuk was detained on September 1 and taken to the detention centre on Akrestsin Street in Minsk. A day earlier, the organisation’s office was searched.

“They came to the office, they had a [search] warrant. They demanded copies of some financial documents be shown; they checked out the employees’ phones and left. There were many things mentioned in the warrant, including a a whole paragraph of articles,” Alyaksandr Vincheuski, the incumbent director of the organisation, said.

In November 2020, Fyanchuk was detained for participating in a protest march in Minsk. Then he got 15 days in jail.

In 2014, Viktar Fyanchuk moved to Brest region and settled down on the outskirts of Belavezhskaya Pushcha. He participated in a program in support of preserved areas, which is carried out by the Protection of Motherland’s Birds, Belavezhskaya Pushcha National Park under the sponsorship of Frankfurt Zoological Society (Germany).

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