‘Mass riots’: Imprisoned vlogger Tsyhanovich faces new charge

Uladzimir Tsyhanovich.

Another charge was brought against popular Belarusian Youtuber Uladzimir Tsyhanovich aka MozgON, human rights centre Viasna reports.

The political prisoner managed to hand over a letter, in which he said he faced an accusation under Article 293-2 (‘preparation for participation in mass riots’) of the Criminal Code. Tsyhanovich misses the point of the accusations, because he was behind bars during the ‘mass riots’ (i.e. post-election protests in August).

On June 9, Uladzimir Tsyhanovich was detained and sentenced to administrative arrest. Later, however, he was transferred to the Minsk pre-trial detention centre on Valadarski Street; a criminal case was opened against him under Article 342-2 of the Criminal Code (‘training or other preparation of persons for participation in group actions that grossly violate public order’). The Belarusian human rights community recognised the blogger as a political prisoner.

The reason for slapping a new charge on him is the authorities’ reluctance to release him, Tsyhanovich believes. In accordance with the Belarusian law, the detention term under the previous article ended in December 2020; the investigators should have completed their probe into his case within six months.

In the letter, Tsyhanovich also informs that he was forced to undergo a month-long psychiatric assessment in the Republican Centre for Mental Health. They also examined his videos.

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