Trial of politicians Mikalai Statkevich, Syarhei Tsikhanouski may drag on till November

Міkalai Statkevich. Мinsk, 24 May 2020. Photo: Vasil Fedosenko / Reuters / Foru

The hearing of Mikalai Statkevich’s case as well as that of his companion in mischief Syarhei Tsikhanouski might be protracted, he said in a letter to his wife Maryna Adamovich.

“He [Mikalai Statkevich] wrote that the trial was likely to last much longer than we might have expected, probably, until November. Taking that into account, he asked me to save my strength,” Maryna Adamovich said in a video posted on the Narodnaya Hramada Youtube channel.

Political prisoner Mikalai Statkevich turns 65 behind bars

Since June 24, the following political prisoners have been tried in Homiel pre-trial detention centre behind closed doors: Syarhei Tsikhanouski, Ihar Losik, Mikalai Statkevich, Uladzimir Tsyhanovich, Artsyom Sakau, and Dzmitry Papou. The defendants in the so called Tsikhanouski case are accused of organising mass riots, actions, flagrantly violating public order, and inciting social hatred in Belarus during the preparation and holding of the presidential elections.

Even the relatives of the accused are not allowed to the hearing to ‘ensure the safety of participants of the trial and protect secrets protected by law’. However, the officials do not give any official explanations for such measures.

Behind closed doors: Trial of Statkevich, Tsikhanouski, Losik, other activists starts in Homiel