Artsiom Bayarski

BSU student, sentenced to 5 years

Date of birth: 18 June 2001

Date of detention: 24 March 2021

Charges indicted:

Art. 342 of the Criminal Code — Organization and preparation of actions that grossly violate public order, or active participation in them
Art. 361-1 of the Criminal Code — Creation of an extremist formation, or participation in it

Sentence: 5 years

Penalty: imprisonment in a medium-security penal colony

Judge: Alena Shylko

Prosecutor: Volha Dzindzialevich

Prison: Penal colony No. 17

Godparent: Cathal Berry, member of the Dáil Eireann

Artsiom Bayarski

Artsiom Bayarski is a 20-year-old second-year student of the BSU's Department of Chemistry.

Bayarski was detained for the first time on November 16, 2020, after the "March of Elderly People". The young man was dragged into a minibus and beaten. He was then sentenced to 15 days in prison.

The student was detained again on March 24, after riot police broke into his dormitory room and pinned Bayarski and his room-mates to the floor. He was again sentenced to a short term of detention.

On March 25, a video appeared in the Telegram channel run by Ryhor Azaronak, a TV presenter known for his extreme pro-Lukashenka views, in which Artsiom confessed to administering the famous Telegram channel called "My Country of Belarus". In order to force the student to appear in the video confession, police officers reportedly beat Bayarski on the back and the buttocks with truncheons. Artsiom told about the violence during a meeting with his lawyer on April 19.

Bayarski was expected to be released on April 18. However, on April 16, the investigator called Bayarski's parents and said that Artsiom had been detained as a suspect under Art. 361-1, Part 1 of the Criminal Code ("creation of an extremist formation"). The student was transferred to the pre-trial prison in Valadarski Street in Minsk, and on April 26 he was officially charged.

On November 9, 2021, a trial began in the Minsk City Court. At the beginning of the trial, judge Alena Shyko, at the request of the prosecutor Volha Dzindzialevich, decided to conduct the trial behind closed doors, as "the case materials contain information about the intimate side of the accused's life, as well as information from the Telegram channel recognized as extremist."

On December 9, 2021, Judge Alena Shylko found Artsiom Bayarski guilty under two articles of the Criminal Code: Part 1 of Art. 361-1 ("creation and running an extremist formation") and Part 1 of Art. 342 ("participation in actions that grossly violate public order"). Artsiom was sentenced to five years in a reinforced regime penitentiary.

On 18 February 2022, the Supreme Court considered Artem's appeal against the decision of the Minsk City Court. Judge Andrei Kavalchuk upheld the verdict.

Mail address: Penal colony No. 17. 213004, Škloŭ, vulica 1-ja Zavodskaja 8

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