Two people face up to 10 years in jail for trying to restore a “We will not forget” inscription at the Pushkinskaya metro station in Minsk.
In September, two Minskers were detained after they tried to restore a memorial to Alexander Taraikovsky, who had been allegedly shot near the Pushkinskaya metro station during post-election protests in August. Now they are charged with two articles of the Criminal Code and may spend up to 10 years behind the bars.
Recall that on 9 September, Maria Bobovich used a primer to write two letters from the “We will not forget” phrase on the pavement. The 25-year-old was detained under Art. 339 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Belarus for hooliganism. A few days later, she was released, but then called again to the police to testify. There Maria saw that she was charged with Art. 341 [desecration of facilities and property damage].
The order stated that she caused 10,182 rubles 52 kopecks [more than 377 base units; ~$3,950/€3,362] in property damage. According to her lawyer, she is now in custody in a pre-trial detention center in Zhodino. The case was reclassified. Maria is now charged with part 2 of Art. 339 and part 2 of Art. 218 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Belarus.
p. 2 art. 339 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Belarus
Hooliganism committed repeatedly, either by a group of persons, or associated with resistance to a person deterring acts of hooliganism, or associated with inflicting less serious bodily harm (malicious hooliganism) – shall be punishable by arrest, or restriction of liberty for up to three years, or imprisonment for one to six years.
p. 2 art.218 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Belarus
Intentional destruction or property damage, committed in a generally dangerous way, or which entailed damage on a large scale, – shall be punishable by restriction of liberty for up to five years or imprisonment for three to ten years.
The date of the trial is yet to be fixed, the lawyer refused to give the details of the investigation.
Denis Grekhanov was also detained because of the inscription. His mother said he was one of those who restored it on 9 September.
“He was alone, then two guys came, they were just looking. When the security forces arrived at Pushkinskaya, the son left by bike. On 10 September they tracked him by cameras and took him away. He spent 24 hours at the District Internal Affairs Department, then at a detention facility on Okrestin Street.
He was released on 13 September awaiting trial. On 22 October, they told me to go have a conversation with an investigator and that’s it. At first, the investigator said that my son would be transferred from a detention facility on Okrestin Street to Zhodino, but now we have no idea where he is,” says Denis’ mother Dina.
According to Dina, her son is now charged with violation of a “heavier” article, and property damage was increased from BYN 7,500 to BYN 10,000. In September, Denis was detained under Art. 341 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Belarus [desecration of facilites and property damage].
However, his case was reclassified too. The 42-year-old is now charged with part 2 of Art. 339 and part 2 of Art. 218. He is currently in custody. Denis did not agree with the accusation and believed that there was no corpus delicti in his actions, the man was going to seek a discontinuation of the criminal case.