IT professional, sentenced to 2 years of imprisonment
Date of birth: 12 December 1991
Date of detention: 31 March 2022
Art. 361-4 of the Criminal Code — Promoting extremist activities
Sentence: 2 years
Penalty: imprisonment in a general-security penal colony
Judge: Ruslan Tsaruk
Prison: Pre-trial detention center No. 3
Andrei Utkin is an IT specialist from Homieĺ. He was detained for taking a picture of a convoy of Russian military equipment and sending it to the Bielaruski hajun Telegram channel.
Andrei is incriminated under Article 361-1 of the Criminal Code (Participation in an extremist formation) and Article 361-4 of the Criminal Code (Promoting extremist activities).
Eventually, the political prisoner was charged only with ‘promoting extremist activities’. On August 1, 2022, the court found him guilty and sentenced him to 24 months of imprisonment in a general-security penal colony.
Seven criminal cases have been opened in the Homieĺ region bordering Ukraine for passing on the information about Russian military vehicles movement to “extremist” Telegram channels, the Investigative Committee reports. Cases are brought under Article 361-4 of the Criminal Code (Promoting extremist activities); detainees face up to six years in prison. Viasna tells what is known about them.