Case of Eduard Palchys sent to court

He has been charged under four articles of the Criminal Code at once.

Eduard Palchys in 2016. Screenshot: Belsat

The Investigative Committee of Belarus has announced the end of the criminal investigation against blogger Eduard Palchys. The case has been sent to court. There were four articles against Palchys:

“Incitement of hatred by a group of persons with grave consequences” – part 3 of Article 130 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Belarus;

“Preparation of mass riots” part 1 of article 293 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Belarus. Article 293 part 1 of the Criminal Code;

“Preparation of actions that grossly violate public order” Article 342 of the Criminal Code;

“Calls for actions detrimental to national security” Article 361 of the Criminal Code.

The Investigative Committee claims that Palchys’s “criminal activity” began as early as 2016. At the same time, Palchys had been running a historical and political blog “1863x” under the pseudonym Jhon Silver since 2014. In May 2015, he was detained and forcibly admitted to a psychiatric hospital. A month later, he was released. In January 2016, he was detained again (already in Russia), sentenced to a year and nine months of freedom restriction for “inciting hatred” and “distribution of pornographic materials” and on October 28, 2016, he was released in the courtroom, as he had served the time in an investigative isolator.

The Investigative Committee openly admits that it wants to punish the blogger for the following publications:

“Palchys’s main weapon was the Internet resources he created and managed, including a Telegram channel and pages on social networks.”

The Ministry of Internal Affairs, according to the IC, has already initiated the recognition of Palchys’s Telegram channel as “extremist materials.”

By the “organization of mass unrest,” the IC means the announcements of the place and time of protests. By “harm to national security” — publications “aimed at destabilizing the situation in the country, artificially inflaming tensions and confrontation in society, to facilitate the subsequent seizure of state power.”

Palchys was detained again in late October 2020. He was first put under administrative detention for 30 days, then made a criminal suspect. In September 2021, he was declared a political prisoner.