Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections

Праваабарончы цэнтр «Вясна» беларускі хельсінкскі камітэт


Investigation of case of graffiti artists extended until November

Yaraslau Ulyianenkau, Maksim Piakarski and Viachaslau Kasinerau. Photo:
Yaraslau Ulyianenkau, Maksim Piakarski and Viachaslau Kasinerau. Photo:

These days, a suspect in the “graffiti case” Yaraslau Ulyanenkau has received a notice from the Investigative Committee about the extension of the preliminary investigation.

As it is stated in a paper, signed by an investigator of the Minsk City Department of the Investigative Committee Petruchenia, “I notify you that the term of the preliminary investigation of criminal case №15121081900 on the grounds of crime under Part 2 of Art. 339 of the Criminal Code is extended to 4 months, that is by 11/30/2015 .”

Lawyer of the Human Rights Center "Viasna" Nasta Loika believes that the investigation has cornered itself:

"The Investigative Committee refused to reclassify the case for a softer article, and can not stop it because it has directed a number of items for expert examinations that can last for a very long time. Objectively, from the legal point of view they need to wait for the results of these examinations. However, it is quite surprising that no other investigative actions are conducted in the meantime, though there are still contradictions in the testimonies of the defendants.

Such a suspended situation is convenient for the authorities, as the graffitists can be returned to prison any time, that's why it depends on the results of the presidential elections and their consequences."

Similar notices were received by the other defendants in the case: Maksim Piakarski, Vadzim Zharomski and Viachaslau Kasinerau.

Let us remind that on August 11 five guys were violently arrested on suspicion of involvement in three criminal cases: making the Belarusian-language graffiti "Belarus Shall Be Belarusian" and "Revolution of consciousness, it is already in progress ...", as well as smearing a social billboard with images of police officers.