Police detain young people for throwing flag into fire

The reason for the criminal prosecution of three Homiel residents was a video that was published back in 2020.

According to the Interior Ministry, a protest telegram channel in 2020 posted a video of two girls and a guy throwing a red-green flag into a bonfire and shouting, “Long live Belarus!”

Representatives of the Homiel anti-crime unit have detained a waitress, a consultant, and a programmer of 21-22 years old because of this video. Under Article 370 of the Criminal Code (“Insult to State Symbols”), a criminal case was brought against them.

The report notes that the detainees “did not want to explain the reason for their insolence.”

According to human rights defenders, since the summer of 2020, the most massive repression in the modern history of Belarus has been taking place. The Investigative Committee claims that more than 2,400 criminal cases related to protests have been opened since August. The Prosecutor General’s Office claims that more than 3,000 such crimes have been registered during this period. The exact number of politically motivated criminal cases remains unknown.

As of June 15, 482 people have been recognized as political prisoners. Thousands of protesters across the country were victims of targeted torture, and more than 33,000 people were held in administrative detention. According to various estimates, between four and ten people have died due to the security forces’ actions. However, no one has been prosecuted for torture or murder.