The ‘case of patriots’ might have been closed, but the persecution of the former defendants is still in progress.
In addition to the criminal case initiated against Andrey Byalyauski, law enforcement officers opened two more case over illegal possesstion and trafficking of ammunition have been opened against the former suspects in the White Legion case, the human rights center Viasna reports.
According to human rights activists, on the former suspects in the case of the “White Legion”,
“The names of other defendants are not yet known, that is why human rights defenders lack information on these new cases,” said Valyantsin Stefanovich, a representative of the HRC Viasna, said.
If Byalyauski or other defendants get prison terms, human rights activists will consider their sentences as politically motivated, which will raise the question of their recognition as political prisoners, he stressed.
On March 21, president Alyaksandr Lukashenka stated that several dozen persons ‘trained how to deal with weapons in [special] camps’ had been arrested in Belarus. According to him, such camps were located not far from the Belarusian towns of Babruysk and Asipovichy.
About 30 persons – former members of the White Legion, state-authorized sports and military club Patriot, Young Front activists as well as people who are not associated with any organizations, landed up in jail after Lukashenka’s words about ‘armed militants’ posing a threat to Belarus.
However, the first-ever case that had been opened under Article 287 of the Belarusian Criminal Code was closed on November 27.