Criminal charges against Young Front activists Syarhei Palcheuski and Zmitser Dashkevich have been dropped.
“Today I have received a letter from the KGB. They say criminal proceedings under Article 293 have been dismissed due to the lack of evidence. Thank you for your support. I hope that soon all the prisoners over the Patriots Case will be released. Long live Belarus!” Palcheuski said on Facebook.
On Thursday evening, Young Front leader and former political prisoner Zmitser Dashkevich reported his being withdrawn of criminal proceedings. According to him, the letter was a total surprise. “I would be less surprised if they put me in jail again,” Dashkevich said. He stressed that a ‘great victory’ would come only after all the defendants were freed.
After the release Syarhei Palcheuski, known for his active participation in the defense of Kurapaty, admitted that he had forced to sign the documents on secret cooperation with the KGB.
Another defendant, Syarhei Kuntsevich, claims he was subject to electric torture in detention facility Nr 1 in Minsk.
About 30 persons – former members of the defunct sports and patriotic organization 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 Alyaksandr Lukashenka’s words about ‘armed militants’ posing a threat to Belarus.
Two pre-trial prisons of Minsk, the KGB prison and the Interior Ministry’s jail, continue to hold 15 people accused of ‘preparing riots’, some of them were charged with ‘establishing an illegal armed group’. According to unconfirmed information, they may be tortured and drugged.
On June 7, Belarusian human rights organizations published a joint statement calling for immediate release of all persons arrested in the ‘rioting and armed group case’ after reports of torture in KGB prison.