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Source: Viasna Belarus Human Rights Center in English 2020 2020-12-22T11:52:10+0300 2020-12-22T11:52:10+0300 2020-12-22T11:52:11+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

Coordination Council members talking to reporters on August 18, 2020. Photo:

The Prosecutor General’s Office has opened a criminal case targeting former presidential candidate Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya and members of the opposition Coordination Council over their alleged involvement in the creation of an extremist group (Article 361-1 of the Criminal Code), according to the authority’s website.
The criminal case is said to involve Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, Maria Kalesnikava, Maksim Znak, Pavel Latushka, Volha Kavalkova, Siarhei Dyleuski and “others individuals.”
In addition, Andrei Liavonchyk, founder of the By_Help initiative, and “other unnamed citizens” are accused of financing the activities of the “extremist group” under Article 361-2 of the Criminal Code.
It is also reported that the Prosecutor General’s Office instructed the Investigative Committee to open a criminal case of “conspiracy to seize power by unconstitutional means” (Part 1 of Article 357 of the Criminal Code) against members of the Coordination Council. The names of the suspects in the case are not disclosed. The penalty under this article is up to 12 years in prison.
On August 20, members of the Council’s presidium faced charges under Art. 361 of the Criminal Code (“calls for actions aimed at causing harm to the national security of the Republic of Belarus”). The then-Prosecutor General Aliaksandr Kaniuk said that the body was “unconstitutional.” He also said that the “creation and activities of the Coordination Council are aimed at seizing power”.
Later, Volha Kavalkova, Pavel Latushka and Siarhei Dyleuski were forced to leave Belarus, while other members faced criminal charges and were imprisoned to await trials.


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