The Preliminary Investigation Department of the Main Police Directorate of the Minsk city executive committee has brought new accusations against the political prisoners.
Iryna Khalip, the wife of presidential candidate Andrei Sannikov; Zmitser Bandarenka, a coordinator of European Belarus civil campaign; Pavel Sevyarynets, a co-chairman of Belarusian Christian Democracy Party; and Syarhei Martseleu, the election manager of presidential candidate Mikalai Statkevich, have been brought a new accusation under part 1 of article 342 (organizing and preparing the actions that breach public order, or taking active part in similar actions). All of them are under arrest.
The press release of the Interior Ministry’s new service says that “allegations on recognizing the Belarusian presidential elections invalid made in their public statements became an artificially created ground for a reaction by the EU countries and the USA, which took measures to impose sanctions as a method of economic and political pressure on the official authorities of Belarus.”
The political prisoners of the regime are soon expected to start examining the materials of their criminal cases, “which will submitted to court via the prosecution bodies,” the press service of the Interior Ministry reports.
Earlier, accusations against presidential candidates Uladzimir Nyaklyaeu and Vital Rymasheuski, journalist and Nyaklyaeu’s associate Alyaksandr Fyaduta, Nyaklyaeu’s associate Syarhei Vaznyak, head of Nyaklyaeu’s electoral team Andrei Dzmitryeu, and Young Front activist Anastasia Palazhanka were changed from article 293 “Mass riot” to softer article 342.
Presidential candidates Andrei Sannikov, Mikalai Statkevich, and Dzmitry Us are accused of the so called mass riot. They may face up to 15 years in prison.
Article 342. Organizing or preparing the actions that breach the public order or taking active part in these actions
1. Organizing group actions that breach public order and that are connected with clear disobedience to lawful demands of representatives of the authorities or that hinder public transport operations or the work of enterprises, institutions or organizations, or taking active part in these actions, unless elements of a more serious crime are present –
is subject to a fine, or custody up to 6 months, or restriction of liberty up to three years, or imprisonment for the same term.
2. Training or other form of preparing individuals to take part in group actions that breach public order, as well as financing or other material backing of similar activities, unless elements of a more serious crime are present –
is subject to custody up to 6 months, or imprisonment up to two years.