Former defendant in White Legion case to stand trial for storing one cartridge

The criminal case of Minsk designer Andrey Byalyauski, a former defendant in the White Legion case, has been sent to court, the human rights centre Viasna reports.

On December 12, the Belarusian Investigative Committee formally charged Andrey Byalyauski under Art. 295-1 of the Criminal Code (illegal manufacturing, purchase, transfer into possession, sale, storage, transportation, transfer or carrying of firearms, ammunition, explosives, etc.) for storing one cartridge.

Based on this charge, Byalyauski may be sentenced to imprisonment for up to seven years with confiscation of property or without confiscation.

When interrogated, Andrey Byalyauski handed over his request for the termination of the criminal prosecution to the investigator. He also asked them to recognize that his storing a cartridge posed no hazard to the public and was legally insignificant.

According to Viasna, if the authorities put Andrey Byalyauski in jail, it will be considered a disproportionate and politically motivated act. In this case, Belarusian human rights defenders will raise the question of his being a political prisoner.

The date of the trial has not been scheduled yet.


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. Andrey Byalyauski was released from prison on June, 2.

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