A court in Minsk sentenced 29-year-old Sergei Sakovets to 4 years in a penal colony for participating in protests, “slandering” and “insulting” Alexander Lukashenko. About it informs human rights center “Spring”.
Sakovets was charged with several articles of the Criminal Code: slander against Alexander Lukashenko (parts 1 and 2 of Article 367 of the Criminal Code); insulting Lukashenka (parts 1 and 2 of Article 368 of the Criminal Code); organization and preparation of actions that grossly violate public order, or active participation in them (part 1 of article 342 of the Criminal Code).
The Minsker was detained on September 21, 2021. According to investigators, Sakovets took part in several protests, and from August 9 to November 2, 2020, “deliberately” and “repeatedly” posted on Instagram information “aimed at organizing, holding and covering illegal socio-political actions.” His messages, according to investigators, led to “massive protest actions, accompanied by a gross violation of public order.”
Sergei Sakovets explained in court that these posts were written by another blogger, and he simply copied them and posted them in his profile. He also spoke about the beating after his arrest. According to him, police officers beat him with a truncheon and fists on the head in their car, then beat him in the entrance, demanded a password and login from his Instagram account.
During the debate, the defense drew attention to the fact that Sakovets was charged with publications that he did not write. According to the lawyer, he took the texts from Telegram channels and in fact simply distributed them, which falls under the administrative article on the distribution of extremist products.
In the last word, Sergei Sakovets said that all the evidence was obtained illegally and cannot be used as the basis for the accusation. “I did not impose anything on anyone, I did not call for anything, and even more so, there was no collusion and organization. The whole accusation is based on assumptions, and there is no concrete evidence, there are no witnesses either,” he said. “I had time to rethink everything and understand that my conscience does not allow me to admit that of which I am innocent.”