‘Violating public order’. Criminal charge filed against former political prisoner

The Belarusian authorities opened a criminal case under Art. 342-1 (organising actions that grossly violate public order) against politician and 2010 presidential candidate Mikalai Statkevich, his wife Maryna Adamovich said on Facebook.

https://www.facebook.com/marina.adamovich.3/posts/3294054704015768

It is still unknown which events or acts gave ground for initiating the criminal case.

Mikalai Statkevich has been under arrest since May, 31. On that day, the former political prisoner was rounded up by plainclothes men when he was going to a picket to collect signatures for wannabe presidential candidate Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya. On June 1, the opposition politician was punished with administrative detention (15 days in custody). Two weeks ago, a Minsk court sentenced Statkevich to another 15-day jail term.

The same charge was brought against the defendants in the so-called Tsikhanouski case as well TG channel admin Ihar Losik. The above article may carry a punishment of up to 3 years in prison.

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Since the beginning of the 2020 election campaign, incumbent president Alyaksandr Lukashenka’s would be rival Viktar Babaryka, might-have been opponent Syarhei Tsikhanouski, politicians Mikalai Statkevich and Pavel Sevyarynets, as well as dozens of people have been placed into custody. According to the human rights centre Viasna, more than 360 people were detained at the rallies of solidarity with the arrested (as well as before and after the rallies) which were held throughout the country from 18 to 21 June.

As reported on Monday, another presidential hopeful Valery Tsapkala has come in sight of Belarusian law enforcement agencies.

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