2022-08-13
Photo: spring96.org

A group of local “terrorists” was handed down draconian sentences in the Babruisk city court. Ihar Kazlou, Kanstantsin Yermalovich, Vital Minkevich, Natallia Ked, and Nadzeya Polkina were the defendants on trial. The trial was held behind closed doors.

According to the Viasna Human Rights Center, Minkevich, Kazlou, and Yermalovich were charged with committing “acts of terrorism” in summer and fall 2021. An object that looked like an explosive device was found near Miradzina railway station at that time. Similar objects were found between the tracks by railway employees and by a vendor at a tobacco kiosk in Babruisk. In addition, security forces considered the arson of a shooting range facility belonging to a military base to be a terrorist act.

The KGB added the three young men to the “list of persons involved in terrorist activities”. Both women were on trial for burning an effigy of Lukashenko in March 2021. Thus, the defendants were convicted on multiple charges: creating an organization with the aim of carrying out terrorist activities or being a part of such an organization, committing an act of terrorism, posing a threat of committing an act of terrorism, and insulting the president.

Kanstantsin Yermalovich was sentenced to 16 years of imprisonment in a maximum security penal colony and a fine of 9,600 Belarusian rubles (equivalent to US$3,800), Vital Minkevich – 15 years of imprisonment in a maximum security colony, Ihar Kazlou – 14 years of imprisonment in a maximum security colony, Nadzeya Polkina – 2 years of imprisonment in a general regime colony, Natallia Ked — 2 years of probation.