Viktor Sedov is 45 years old. He is a father of three daughters and a power supply engineer. On the night of 10 August 2020, he was at the Riga shopping centre in Minsk, where, as follows from the case file, he took part in the erection of barricades and threw two stones on the road. Two months later, he was identified by video from the scene, detained and charged with participation in mass riots (part 2 of Article 293 of the Criminal Code). The state prosecutor asked the court to find him guilty and sentenced him to three years in a maximum-security colony. On 30 March, the court delivered just such a verdict.
The trial in the case of Viktor Sedov lasted one day, and one more court session was needed for the pleadings. In his final statement in court, Sedov said: “I want to say that I am a peaceful person. I do not deny what I have done. What I have done, I have done. All my life I advocate a peaceful solution to all conflict situations. And in a political situation, I also advocate a peaceful solution to all controversial situations that have arisen.
Unfortunately, that evening I could not contain my emotions, I did not stay cool. I want to ask forgiveness from my family and children. Forgive me, at that moment I did not think about you. I hope with God’s help you can survive without me. I plead guilty, I repent of what I have done. Please do not punish me severely.”
Judge Anastasia Leikovskaya found Viktor Sedov guilty and sentenced him to three years in a maximum-security colony – the same punishment was requested by the state prosecutor. The claim of Minsktrans against Viktor Sedov will be considered in separate civil proceedings.
The case of Viktor Sedov was considered in the court of the Pervomaisky district of Minsk. As follows from the materials of the case, on the night of August 10-11, 2020, he was at the intersection of Kuibyshev and Surganov Streets near the Riga supermarket. There, according to the investigation, he took part in the riots “by prior conspiracy with unidentified persons”, participated in the construction of barricades, and threw stones.
According to Viktor himself, that evening he “out of curiosity” watched what was happening, placed one stone on the roadway and threw another one in the direction of the empty road and went home. The charge states that Viktor Sedov committed the crime while intoxicated, although on 10 August he was not detained and a medical examination was not carried out.
The father of three children was detained on October 16, 2020, and taken to the Sovetsky District Department of Internal Affairs. There, the accused wrote a full confession, as “he was psychologically pressured”, he explained in court.
Viktor Sedov partially admitted his guilt: “At that time, I was in a state of shock when communicating with operational workers. […] I had a lot of things left to do at home. We have a large family, we built an apartment, took a loan. The officers said: “We will let you go if you confess.” And I believed it because I wanted to go home and finish everything. […] A lot has been written [in the accusation]. I confess that I put a stone on the roadway, and threw the second one on the road.”
Since last October, Viktor Sedov has been in custody. At the trial, his wife said that she filed petitions to change the preventive measure, since she was left alone with three children, repays his bank loan and has serious health problems. The lawyer asked to re-qualify the article of the Criminal Code to 342 Article (Organization or active participation in group actions that grossly violate public order). Human rights activists recognized Viktor Sedov as a political prisoner.