Belarus 'railroad partisans' sentenced to lengthy prison terms

Siarhei Pliashkun and Yury Selvich on trial /
Siarhei Pliashkun and Yury Selvich on trial /

After considering the criminal case of the "railway partisans" from the southern Belarusian town of Mazyr, the Homiel Regional Court sentenced Siarhei Pliashkun to 16 years in prison and Yury Selvich - to 14 years, Radio Liberty reports.

The 34-year-old Pliashkun and 45-year-old Selvich were arrested in March 2022. The state TV claimed that Belarus's national security service KGB had been watching and secretly filming them in a garage, when they were discussing plans to prevent the movement of Russian military equipment on the Belarusian railroad.  They allegedly had components for a Molotov cocktail and some pyrotechnics at their homes.

They were also accused of putting graffiti on the fence near one of the factories in the Mazyr district.

The men were charged under seven articles in the Criminal Code:

Part 2, article 295-3 (illegal acts with regard to objects, the action of which is based on the use of flammable substances);
Part 2, article 289 (terrorist act);
Part 1, article 342 (organization and preparation of or active participation in acts that seriously undermine public order);
Part 4, Article 309 (intentional immobilization of a vehicle or means of communication);
Article 341 (desecration of buildings and damage to property);
Article 130, part 1 (incitement to other social discord);
Article 361, part 1 (promoting extremist activities).

Their trial began on December 6, 2022.

"Railway partisans" in Belarus usually receive long sentences. Vitaly Melnik, who was shot in the knees during his arrest, was sentenced to 13 years. The residents of Svetlahorsk also received huge sentences: Dzianis Dzikun -- 23 years, Dzmitry Ravich -- 22 years, Aleg Malchanau -- 21 years in prison.

"Рэйкавым партызанам" з Мазыра прысудзілі 14 і 16 гадоў

Siarhei Pliashkun and Yury Selvich in court /

"Рэйкавым партызанам" з Мазыра прысудзілі 14 і 16 гадоў

Siarhei Pliashkun and Yury Selvich in court /

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