A young Belarusian has been fined for reposting a music video by the famous German band Rammstein.
In 2014, Andrey Halavenka, a 25-year-old resident of Hrodna, published a music video ‘Pussy’ on his Vkontakte social media page – and forgot about sharing it. In March 2019, the Belarusian State Committee of Judicial Examinations placed a ban on showing and distrubuting the video due to the presence of pornographic scenes.
The Hrodna department of the Investigative Committee launched a criminal case under Article 343-2 ( ‘Making and distributing pornographic materials’) against Andrey Halavenka. In accordance with the Belarusian Criminal Code, porno peddling is punishable by up to four years in prison.
“At first, they opened a criminal case, the materials were handed over to the prosecutor. But the prosecutor’s office took into account that I had a clean record and good references. Therefore, they decided to reclassify the case,” Halavenka told Belsat TV.
As a result, the young man got a fine of 1,275 rubles (about $640). He also had to make up for the expert examination conducted to the state budget.
To pay punitive damages and square accounts with his defense lawyer, Halavenka launched a fundraising campaign on Internet. Many Belarusians responded to his appeal on social media platforms.