Vadzim Baranau

sentenced to 3 years of imprisonment


Date of birth: 24 March 1995

Date of detention: 1 October 2022

Charges indicted:

Art. 361-4 of the Criminal Code — Promoting extremist activities

Sentence: 3 years

Penalty: imprisonment in a medium-security penal colony

Judge: Ruslan Tsaruk

Vadzim Baranau is from Mazyr, Homieĺ region. He was arrested on July 8, 2022, after returning from Poland, at his mother's home, by officers of GUBAZiK (Interior Ministry's Main Directorate for Combating Organized Crime and Corruption). The reason for the arrest was his alleged participation in the protest rallies in 2020, photographing military vehicles, and sending pictures to Telegram channels in 2022.

During the arrest, he was beaten, and his documents—passport, employment record book, and driver's license—were damaged, which prevented him from going abroad again. After renewing his documents, on the day he received a new Polish visa, he went to the police station to ask about his iPhone seized by the police. There, he was detained again, and six reports on administrative offenses were drawn up.

Later, a criminal case was opened against Vadzim Baranau. He was accused of 'supporting extremist activities' under Parts 1 and 2 of Article 361-4 of the Criminal Code.

According to the prosecution, Baranau "intentioned to facilitate extremist activity". On February 26, 2022, he "filmed the movement of paramilitary units of an unidentified state to transmit the data to Telegram channels recognized as extremist, thereby assisting extremist activity". Thus, he committed a crime under Part 1 of Article 361-4. Besides, he repeatedly transmitted information about the movement of military vehicles in April 2022, which was qualified as a crime under Part 2 of Article 361-4.

Vadzim Baranau was sentenced to three years of imprisonment in a medium-security penal colony.

On March 24, 2023, he was included in the 'List of citizens of Belarus, foreign citizens, and stateless persons involved in extremist activities'.

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