Members of the Belarusian group Tor Band Dmitry Golovach, Evgeny Burlo and Andrei Yaremchik were accused of insulting Alexander Lukashenko (Part 1 of Article 368 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Belarus) and discrediting Belarus (Article 369-1 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Belarus), writes Mediazona Belarus.
Also, the musicians, as the publication clarifies, were accused under two more articles: “inciting hatred” (Part 3 of Article 130 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Belarus) and “creating an extremist formation” (Parts 1 and 3 of Article 361-1 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Belarus).
According to the Flagstaff publication, the trial of the musicians will begin on September 14 in the Gomel Regional Court. Group members face up to 12 years in prison.
In January of this year, the KGB of Belarus recognized the Tor Band as an “extremist formation.”
At the end of October 2022, members of the Tor Band were detained and arrested for 15 days under the article on the distribution of extremist materials (Article 19.11 of the Code of Administrative Offenses of the Republic of Belarus). Since then, they have been detained several times under administrative charges, and the musicians are currently in pre-trial detention.
In August 2022, a court in Gomel recognized the social network, logo and several songs of the group as “extremist materials”. According to a source from the Belarusian service of Radio Liberty, the founders of the Tor Band, Golovach and Burlo, were sentenced to 15 days of arrest for each song released.
Tor Band became a popular group in Belarus during the 2020 wave of protests.