Criminal case allegedly started for “the insult of Lukashenko” against a 19-year old vlogger

At the moment Stepan Sviatlou is in Poland, where he studies in a university. In the meantime, Belarusian police raided the his mother’s apartment.

“In the evening two people came to my mother – one wearing the uniform of the Investigative Committee, another in a civilian clothing. They didn’t tell their names or show any identifying documents. They only showed a search warrant and said that some person complained about derogatory remarks against the president, that she had heard on my Youtube-channel”, Stepan tells.

According to the blogger, the policemen confiscated a laptop and a small videocamera, made a search report. After this they didn’t give Stepan’s mother any document copies and didn’t tell her what was the status of her son in the case. So it is not clear yet if the criminal case was started against him.
The NEXTA channel ( https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCY_q9S5SOsIRZNUVrmHB1JQ ) has more than 100.000 subscribers.

Stepan Sviatlou (Sviatlou is a pseudonim) has started to actively keep a vlog in April 2017 – then the topic of “non-parasite protests” (https://pramen.io/en/2017/03/hundreds-of-protesters-detained-after-massive-wave-of-repressions-in-belarus/) was still active in Belarus. The guy started creating informative videos in the “That’s the news!” rubric. The main topics were “Presidential decree #3” about the social parasites, police violence, abuse of power. Almost every video contained critique against Lukashenko.

But the vlogger also notes that he has been to Minsk recently and had not been arrested: “I’ve recently come to Minsk for almost two weeks and none of the security officials or investigators have contacted me. They let me leave the country. It is also interesting who was that person that complained about my channel. Could it be the infamous Frau A.?” Stepan says.

Answering the question why has he in general decided to start a political blog Stepan says:
“Because it is needed. People in Belarus start having less and less sources of information: Charter97.org was blocked, Belaruspartisan.org is under pressure”.
After such a special “advertisement” the number of channel subscribers has incresed significantly.

In Belarusian Criminal code article 368 “Insult of the president” allows authorities to execute different measures on the defendant, with a 3-year prison sentence. It has already been used several times against journalists and political activists.

Sources: http://novychas.by/hramadstva/peratrus-i-sprava-za-abrazu-prezidenta-paczausja
http://belsat.eu/ru/news/obyski-i-delo-za-oskorblenie-prezidenta-nachalos-davlenie-na-populyarnogo-blogera/

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *