Mother Of Five Who Arranged Tea Parties Now Accused Of Creating Extremist Group

Olga Zolotar, a mother of five children from the village of Zhdanovichi, who was detained “for active protest activities”, was charged. She is accused of creating an extremist group or leading such a group or a structural unit that is part of it. The sanctions under this article provide for restriction of liberty for up to five years or imprisonment for a term of three to seven years.

In August 2020, Olga Zolotar volunteered in a camp near the isolation facilitie on Okrestin Street

Olga Zolotar was detained on 18 March, when she was taking her 10-year-old daughter to a music lesson. After that, a search was conducted in her house in Zhdanovichi. Olga was left in custody. In the evening of the same day, her husband, Sergei Gankevich, was arrested. The court sentenced him to ten days of arrest for illegal picketing. He allegedly hung a white-red-white flag on the window after his wife’s arrest. At home, the couple left five children, whose grandmother took temporary custody. On 28 March, Sergei Gankevich was released.

As reported by the Ministry of Internal Affairs, a criminal case was opened against Olga Zolotar “for active protest activity.” For what article, the department did not specify. According to the police, the woman was the administrator of the local courtyard chat and, since last summer, the organizer of unauthorized mass events, “the so-called tea parties, walks, concerts.” On Friday, 26 March, Olga Zolotar was charged under Article 361-1 of the Criminal Code [Creation of an extremist group or leadership of such a group or its structural subdivision].

Under this article, Olga Zolotar could face up to seven years in prison. Now the mother of five children is in the Minsk pre-trial detention centre No. 1 on Volodarskogo Street. According to her friends, in August Olga was an observer at the elections, after 9 August she became a volunteer in the camp on Okrestin Street. In the autumn of 2020, a police report was drawn up against her for drinking tea in one of the courtyards of the Zhdanovichi neighbourhood.

Then the court sentenced her to a fine. On January 28, 2021, she was detained for petty hooliganism – the woman together with a neighbour were cleaning up black paint from a mural depicting Pavel Latushko. There was no trial on this case. The next time the woman was detained literally three days later when she was waiting for her friend near the Tsentralny supermarket. Then Olga spent several days in an isolation centre in the 1st Okrestin lane.

Source: TUT.BY