Top Belarusian official: Over 2,300 criminal cases of ‘extremist’ nature opened since summer

When commenting on the after-effect of the Belarusian People’s Congress, Ivan Naskevich, the head of the Belarusian Investigative Committee, revealed the number of politically motivated criminal cases initiated in the period of the protests.

The video was published on the Telegram channel of the state-run ATN news agency.

“It is obvious all law enforcement officers assess the results of the Congress through the spectacle of the post-election events that have taken place in the country since the summer of 2020. Thus, the departmentss of the Investigative Committee have launched and are probing into more than 2,300 criminal cases of extremist nature.

The main conclusion that all of us drew in the course of the Belarusian People’s Congress is that the entire law enforcement bloc, including the Investigative Committee, is firmly resolved to preserve the independence and sovereignty of the state as well as law and order in the country,” Ivan Naskevich said.

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On 9 August, the large-scale protests started in the country on the back of announcing the preliminary resultts of the 2020 presidential election; the major demands of Belarusians were Alyaksndr Lukashenka’s resignation; holding a free and fair election; releasing political prisoners; putting an end to police violence as well as bringing to justice those involved in battering and torturing peaceful demonstrators. In the post-election period criminal cases were instituted against more than 900 citizens, including Belsat TV journalists Katsyaryna Andreyeva and Darya Chultsova. There are at least seven death cases that are linked to the post-election protests. By the moment, 251 defendants were recognised as political prisoners by the Belarusian human rights community.

Several thousand detainees filed complaints against police officers’ illegal actions to the Investigative Committee. However, not a single criminal case has been opened over the citizens’ appeals.

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