Political prisoner gets 2.5 years in jail. Earlier he stood trial for picking up police radioset

On January 13, Maskouski district court completed hearing the case of political prisoner Dzmitry Shchurko.

Dzmitry Shchurko. Photo: Belsat

On 10 September 2021, Shchurko was detained and placed in the Brest pre-trial detention centre, but later released. On November 9, he was arrested by the notorious GUBAZiK/GUBOPiK which forced the man to appear in a so called repentant video. He was charged with ‘defamation’ (Article 188 of the Criminal Code), ‘insulting the president’ (Art. 368) and ‘insulting an official’ (Art. 369). As a result, Yauhen Brehan, the judge who was involved in many political trials, has taken heed of investigators Viktar Shulkin’s and Tatsyana Tsybulya’s demand and sentenced him to 2.5 years in a penal colony and a heavy fine.

More than a year ago, 34-year-old Dzmitry Shchurko was convicted; he was accused of stealing a police radioset during a protest rally on September, 20. At that time, protesters were gathering on the corner of Savetskaya and Gogol streets. Soon a van drove up and detentions began. The man, however, says that he just picked up the walkie-talkie off the ground. The man took a radioset out of a policeman’s bag and brought it home, the prosecution said. The following day Shchurko was summoned to the police station, and he gave the equipment back. The local police estimated the damage at 890 rubles.

The Brest resident pleaded not guilty. According to him, he took the radioset away in order to use it as evidence of the crimes committed by plainclothes people who detained and beat peaceful demonstrators. However, then the court found Dzmitry Shchurko guilty and sentenced him to 2 years of restriction of liberty without being sent to a correctional facility.

Dzmitry Shchurko is the father to two minor children.

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