Chairman of the Investigative Committee (IC) Ivan Noskevich said that more than 2,300 criminal cases of extremist nature have been investigated since last summer. He stated this after a meeting of the personnel of the Investigative Committee with the delegate of the Belarusian People’s Congress Alexander Shpakovsky.
“Obviously, all law enforcement officers evaluate the results of the meeting through the prism of post-electoral events starting in the summer of 2020. Thus, units of the Investigative Committee during this time have initiated and are investigating more than 2,300 criminal cases of an extremist nature.
The main conclusion that we have drawn after the Belarusian People’s Congress is that the entire law enforcement bloc, including the Investigative Committee, is determined to preserve the independence and sovereignty of the state, law and order in the country,” said Ivan Noskevich.
In mid-January 2021, the deregistered Viasna human rights centre reported that since the start of the presidential campaign in Belarus in 2020, more than 1,800 criminal cases have been opened in the country against participants in the presidential race, activists of their teams, and participants in protest actions.
During this time, cases are initiated mainly under the following articles of the Criminal Code: Art. 293 (Riots), Art. 342 (Organization or active participation in group actions that grossly violate public order), Art. 363 (Resistance to an employee of the internal affairs bodies or other person protecting public order), Art. 364 (Violence or threat of violence against an employee of the internal affairs bodies), Art. 243 (Tax Evasion), Art. 339 (Hooliganism).
Numerous trials are currently held throughout the country of Belarusians for participation in protests, insults and threats against government officials, violence against security officials. At the same time, according to official data as of September 9, 2020, the Investigative Committee of Belarus received more than 1,800 complaints from citizens about torture and illegal use of physical violence by law enforcement officers. As of December 31, 2020, not a single criminal case has been initiated against law enforcement officers.