Blogger Tsikhanouski’s associate gets 15-day jail term

Dmitry Popov, a social media manager of the Youtube channel Страна Для Жизни (A Country for Life) who was detained in Mazyr, has been confined in the predetention centre in Minsk since June, 5.

He was sentenced to 15 days of administrative arrest, the human rights centre Viasna reports. It is unknown what charges were brought against Popov.

Moreover, there are another three residents of Mazyr in the city predetention centre: Alyaksandr Tsukanau, the author of the channel Mazyr for Life, his friend Dzyanis Kolas, and farmer Alyaksandr Vyanhura. The latter appeared in the report filmed by blogger Syarhei Tsikhanouski. Each of them got a 15-day jail term.

As reported earlier, Popov, a citizen of Russia, disappeared on June, 4. Shortly before, he shared a video and said that the police was going to detained him as part of a criminal case. Then he stopped contacting anyone; his phone was unavailable.

Minsk mayor announces measures against ‘provocateurs’ at pre-election pickets

In May, Syarhei Tsikhanouski, the author of Youtube channel Страна Для Жизни ( A Country for Life), revealed his presidential ambitions while serving a 15-day jail term for participating in unauthorised mass events.

However, the Belarusian Central Election Commission refused to register his initiative group. According to them, only a person who intends to campaign for the presidency must sign the documents.As Syarhei Tsikhanouski was in custody at that moment, all the necessary documents were signed and filed by his wife. On the back of the situation, Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya managed to get her initiative group registered instead.

On May 29, the police arrested Syarhei Tsikhanouski, head of his wife’s nomination group, and at least 15 persons during a peaceful picket in Hrodna. It should be noted that one of the women (Alena K.) who showed up at the picket attempted to stir up a conflict with Tsikhanouski, which resulted in pushing and jostling. According to the official version, one policeman fell down and had to be taken to hospital. On May 30, the Interior Ministry initiated criminal investigation into an alleged act of violence against two police officers.

The police searched the homes of the most of the detainees; some were transferred to Minsk remand prison #1.

On June 9, the Belarusian Investigative Committee stated that Syarhei Tsikhanouski and seven other persons were charged under Art. 342-1 (planning actions that grossly violate public order) of the Criminal Code of Belarus. The above article may carry a punishment of up to 3 years in prison.

EU urges Belarus authorities to release, vindicate defendants in Tsikhanouski’s case