Trial of protester hit by prison truck starts in Minsk

СTrial of Yahor Suhoydz. Minsk, 16 March 2021. Photo:

On March 16, Tsentralny district court started hearing the case of a young man who was hit by a prison truck not far from Minsk Hero City Stele during post-election protests, reports. The case is being considered by judge Viktoryia Shabunya who has been repeatedly involved in politically motivated trials.

At first, the Minsker was even thought to be dead. After the incident, injured Yahor Suhoydz was hospitalised; then, however, he was taken into custody.

Being under the influence of alcohol, Suhoydz was took an active part in unauthorised mass actions from about 8 pm to 11 pm on August 9; the participants who were ‘dissatisfied with social and political development political life of the country’ attracted public attention by moving along both footway and roadway, they had posters, banners and flags, the prosecution states.

Protests in Minsk. 9 August 2020. Photo: АВ / Vot Tak TV / Belsat

According to the public prosecutor’s version, Yahor Suhoydz stepped on the roadway and jumped onto the MAZ convoy vehicle, which violated public order and also obstructed public traffic flow. He was cherged under Article 342-1 (‘‘organisation of actions that grossly violate public order’) of the Criminal Code. If found guilty, the man may face up to three years in prison.

The defendant pleaded partially guilty: Yahor says he was present at the rally, but he refused to admit his getting onto the MAZ.

In turn, the eyewitnesses make the case that the prison truck pulled up the group of approached protesters from behind as they were standing in front of shielded troops. At first, the special vehicle slowed down a bit, and then its driver pressed the accelerator pedal and started driving towards the people without giving any warning signal. The moment of the incident was videorecorded.

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