7 people detained in Belarus for photos and videos of Russian military equipment

Seven criminal cases were opened in the Homel region for sending photo and video materials containing information about the movement of Russian military equipment to “extremist” Telegram channels. The criminal cases were launched against the people who shared these materials with the Telegram channels. They are accused of “complicity in extremist activities.” They face up to six years in jail.

The Viasna human rights center reports that Viktar Kulinka, a digital artist, was detained. According to the official statements, he sent a picture of a Russian military equipment column to the bot of the Belaruski Hayun Telegram channel, which was declared extremist in March. A “confessional” video of Viktar surfaced on pro-government Telegram channels.

In Mazyr, a 28-year-old mother of a minor child was detained for sending a video of Russian helicopters to a “politically biased destructive resource.” This is most likely the case of Hanna Pyshnik, who was arrested for sending videos to the NEXTA Telegram channel.

On 5 April, Iryna Abdukeryna, a former teacher from Khoiniki, was detained at her dacha, allegedly for forwarding a video of a Russian military equipment convoy. A “confessional” video of Iryna was released online. She is now in the Homel pre-trial detention center.

On 1 April, employees of the Main Department for Combating Organized Crime and Corruption detained Aleh Baradzin, a 43-year-old Homel resident. The reason for his detention was also his sending a video of moving Russian military equipment to an “extremist” Telegram channel. A “confessional” video of Baradzin appeared on pro-government Telegram channels.

Three more people are involved in the criminal case, one of them is a minor. Their names and whereabouts are yet to be known.

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