On June 19, Yury Hubarevich, the leader of the movement For Freedom and a would-be presidential contender, was tried in Pershamaiski district court of Minsk.
He was found guilty of participating in unauthorised mass events (Art. 23.34 of the Code of Administrative Offenses).
Riot policemen Ihar Astapuk and Viktar Akhramovich testified in court. According to them, on June 7, Hubarevich chanted slogans ‘Stop Cockroach!’, ‘Freedom to Tsikhanouski!’ and took part in a rally which had no connection to the election campaign. The politician pleaded not guilty, noting that on that day his initiative group was collecting signatures for his nomination for presidency.
Judge Anastasiya Lyaikouskaya sentenced Hubarevich to 15 days in jail.
15 сутак за правядзенне пікета па зборы подпісаўРоўна столькі адмерыў мне сёння суд Першамайскага раёна Мінска.Пішу…
Opublikowany przez Юрый Губарэвіч Piątek, 19 czerwca 2020
“I realise that my story is not the most exceptional case against the background of the persecution of other candidates. But just think: they punish me with an administrative arrest for the fact that I appealed to citizens, asking them to put their signature in my support. This so-called election will definitely go down in history,” Yury Hubarevich said on Facebook.
At the moment, the politician is at liberty, becouse he had left the courtroom before the sentence was read out.
- The presidential election is to take place on August, 9. Belarusian human rights defenders note the continuing trend of increasing repression eveb during the period of collecting signatures, including against the direct participants in the election, and the escalation of tensions and an atmosphere of fear in society.
- Syarhei Tsikhanouski, the husband and trustee of presidential hopeful Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya, and eight 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. Belarusian human rights watchdogs recognised defendants in the case as political prisoners.
- On June 18, wannabe presidential candidate Viktar Babaryka and Eduard Babaryka, his son and campaign chief, were taken to the Department of Financial Investigations. Lawyers were barred from visiting them, and their homes are searched. Later, it became known that charges were brought against the Babarykas; they are allegedly being held in the KGB prison in Minsk.
- In June, a criminal case was initiated against 15 employees of Belagzprombank. Notably, Viktar Babaryka had been CEO of the bank for about 20 years; he retired on the day when he revealed his presidential ambitions. The bank’s collection of paintings that included masterpieces by Marc Chagall and Chaime Soutine, was confiscated.
- Since 6 May, a total of 1,316 days of administrative arrest was slapped on 98 Belarusians, according to estimations by human rights centre Viasna. 106 persons got fines to the tune of 90,000 Belarusian rubles. The human rights defenders stress that the authorities resort to the articles of the Code of Administrative Offences for political persecution of dissidents.