71 days in jail: Married couple arrested for 5th time in row for ‘extremism’ in private messages

On September 10, Syarhei Krupenich and Anastasiya Krupenich-Kandratsiyeva, a married couple from Minsk, were not released from the detention centre again, human rights activists report.

Since July, officers of Leninski district department of internal affairs have been drawn five protocols on them for ‘distribution of information products that contain calls to extremist activities or promote such activities (Art. 19.11 of the Code of Administrative Offences), which has led to the Krupenich family’s repeatedly being tried and jailed. In fact, the only fault of husband and wife was exchanging information from Telegram channels which the Belarusian authorities consider as ‘extremist’ in private (!) messages. On August 26, they were sentenced for 15 days each; but after serving their terms, Syarhei and Anastasiya failed to go at large – new protocols under the same Article 19.11 were made against them.

The latest cases of Syarhei and Anastasiya were considered by judge Yuliya Shut on September 10 and 13, respectively. It was not until the end of the two trials when the information about them were added to the court’s schedule. The defendants are known to have got another 15-day term each.

To date, Leninski district court judges have punished Syarhei Krupenich and Anastasiya Krupenich-Kandratsiyeva with the total of 71 days of arrest.

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