From August 9, 2020, to August 9, 2021, the local units of the Investigative Committee of the Homiel region initiated 415 criminal cases for participation in protests and dissenting opinions.
As a result of the investigation, 94 criminal cases of 117 people were transferred to the prosecutor to be sent to court, reported the Investigative Committee.
The largest number of criminal cases were initiated under the articles “Insulting a representative of authority,” “Desecration of buildings and damage to property,” “Defamation,” “Insulting the President,” “Violence or the threat of violence against an officer of the Interior.”
Thus, a 21-year-old native of Dobrush district composed a song in the summer of 2020 that allegedly contained an insult to Alyaksandr Lukashenka and posted it online. The criminal case against the young man was sent to court.
In September 2020, an individual entrepreneur from Homiel posted several comments in a protest Telegram chat room, where he allegedly called to resist the security forces. The 45-year-old Homiel man was charged with committing a crime under Part 1 of Article 130 of the Criminal Code (“Deliberate actions aimed at inciting other social hatred based on another social affiliation”). Now there is a trial.
In Mazyr, a 28-year-old blogger in a random video chat in December 2020 contacted a user who turned out to be a law enforcement officer. The IC says that the blogger asked the enforcer “provocative questions” and “threatened to use violence against his family.” As a result, a resident of Mazyr was punished with 2.5 years of freedom restriction or “chemistry.”
According to human rights activists, since the summer of 2020, the most massive repression in the modern history of Belarus has taken place. During the year, there were more than 4,690 criminal cases related to the protests all over the country. As of August 25, 645 people were recognized as political prisoners.