The court of the Oktyabrsky district of Grodno sentenced 30-year-old Vyacheslav Yanyuk to five years in a high-security penal colony in the case of organizing mass riots because of comments in telegram channels. This was reported by the human rights center “Viasna”.
According to investigators, in 2020 Vyacheslav Yanyuk posted “public messages containing statements of an inciting nature and calling for violent actions” on several Telegram channels, thereby allegedly “creating conditions for the commission of a crime by other persons”, and also “did not take measures to the removal of the above publications from chats, while not bringing his criminal intent to the end due to circumstances beyond his control.
During the trial, the man explained that he had indeed repeatedly posted comments calling for people to come out to participate in mass events. At the same time, he noted that his comments had nothing to do with organizing mass riots, calling other citizens to illegal actions, and some of the comments were made on emotions.
Yaniuk was charged with Part 1 of Article 293 of the Criminal Code (“Organization of riots accompanied by violence against a person, pogroms, arson, destruction of property or armed resistance to government officials”).
The district court found him guilty under this part of the article and sentenced him to five years in prison. The regional court, considering the appeal against the verdict on August 8, excluded from the descriptive part the indication of the preparation of the accused to organize mass riots accompanied by pogroms, while leaving the same term of punishment, human rights activists point out.
Vyacheslav Yanyuk was previously included in the list of “persons involved in terrorist activities.”