former teacher, sentenced to 4 years of imprisonment
Date of birth: 27 May 1972
Date of detention: 5 April 2022
Art. 361-1 of the Criminal Code — Creation of an extremist formation, or participation in it
Art. 130 of the Criminal Code — Incitement to hatred
Art. 361-2 of the Criminal Code — Financing the activities of an extremist group
Art. 369-1 of the Criminal Code — Discrediting Belarus
Sentence: 4 years
Penalty: imprisonment in a general-security penal colony
Prison sentence start date: 6 March 2023
Judge: Ruslan Tsaruk
Prison: Penal colony No. 4
Godparent: Damien Cottier, Member of the Swiss National Council
Iryna Abdukeryna, a former teacher from Chojniki, was detained at her summer house on the morning of April 5. The reason for the arrest was that the woman had allegedly recorded the movement of a Russian military convoy and forwarded the video to the Bielaruski hajun Telegram channel. This is stated in the “repentant” video of her.
The woman was charged under four articles of the Criminal Code:
- “creation of an extremist formation, or participation in it” (Art. 361-1),
- “incitement to hatred” (Art. 130),
- “financing the activities of an extremist group” (Art. 361-2), and
- “discrediting Belarus” (Art. 369-1).
On December 6, 2022, Judge Ruslan Tsarus of the Homieĺ Regional Court found Abdukeryna guilty and sentenced her to four years of imprisonment in a general-security penal colony. She was also fined 3,200 Belarusian rubles (approx. US$1,260).
The trial of Iryna Abdukeryna is over. The hearings started on November 28 in the Homieĺ Regional Court and continued till December 6. The trial was closed to the public. Judge Ruslan Tsaruk considered the case.
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.