Article of the Criminal Code changed for Rymasheuski and Sieviarynets
On March, 30 the co-chairman of the organizing committee for the BCD and ex-candidate for the presidential post Vital Rymasheuski was indicted anew under article 342 of the Criminal Code (“Organization and preparation of activities that grossly violate public order or active participation in such activities”). Thus, the article under which he had been previously indicted was changed for a milder one. The same change of article under the Criminal Code took place also in relation to ex-candidate Uladzimir Niaklyaeu, deputy chairman of the Young Front Nasta Palazhanka and representatives of the campaign “Speak the truth” Alaxandr Fiaduta, Siarhei Wazniak and Andrej Dzmitryeu.
On April, 4 accusations against Paval Sieviarynets, Dzmirty Bandarenka, Iryna Khalip, Siarhej Martsaleu have been also re-qualified in the same way.Ex-presidential candidates Mikalaj Statkevich, Dzmitry Us and Andrej Sannikau,as well as Aliaksandr Klaskouski are still suspected in organising mass riots.
The penalty under article 342 provides for a fine or arrest for up to six months, or restraint of liberty for up to three years, or imprisonment for the same period.
Vital Rymasheuski was let know of the change at the time of interrogation, which began at 2 pm on March, 30. “I was called in for questioning at 2 pm without any explanation. I was not aware that I would be indicted anew during the interrogation. Despite the fact that the new article is milder than the previous one, this does not mean that the decision of the court will be legal and fair. The fact that the article was changed is a surprise for me but I do not think that the situation for me or for the BCD has become somewhat different. The previous ungrounded sentences in relation to other participants of the “case of December, 19” are still in force, – said the co-chairman of the BCD. “The change of articles does not constitute a victory in releasing the prisoners, such victory will only be reached by unconditional acquittals. I do not feel particularly happy because people who were groundlessly arrested continue to be kept in jails. And a verdict against me, despite the change of article, might be as tough as up to three years of imprisonment”- continued Vital Rymasheuski.