Well-known Belarusian journalist, participant of the Ukrainian Revolution of Dignity, volunteer Dzianis Ivashyn, after six months of detention by the KGB of Belarus, was faced with new absurd charges.
At the end of October, the media reported that new charges were brought against Dzianis Ivashyn, a well-known Belarusian journalist and volunteer, editor of the Belarusian language version of the InformNapalm international intelligence community website, who was arrested by the KGB on March 12, 2021. Initially, he was indicted under Article 365 (interference in the activities of police officers) immediately after the publication of the third part of his own journalistic OSINT investigation on the former officers of the disbanded Ukrainian riot police force Berkut who had joined the service of the Lukashenka regime in Belarus.
The timing made it look like this was a retaliation organized by the former Berkut police officers on Dzianis Ivashyn as a journalist and participant in the Ukrainian Revolution of Dignity. Belarusian security officers tried in every possible way to put pressure on Dzianis: they toughened the prison conditions for him, periodically put him in punitive confinement, coerced him to plead guilty and agree with the charges pressed on him. Dzianis did not admit any guilt and did not sign any “confessions” against himself. He emphasized that he only did legal investigative journalism, focusing on open sources and in no way violated the law of Belarus.
The pre-trial investigation period of six months expired, but there has been no trial. Dzianis remained in detention in gross violation of his rights. Apparently, the regime could not prove any charges pressed, the case of the prosecution collapsed, but the security forces did not want to release their captive so easily. Then the Lukashenka regime accelerated a rapprochement with Russia, and the charges were reclassified making them much graver. To make it simple, they changed the order of figures in the number of the law Article, so that the Article 365 (“Interference in activities …”) turned into a much graver Article 356 (“High treason”). While Dzianis could have been sentenced to a maximum of 3 years under the first charge, he faces up to 15 years in prison under the new one.
Apparently, Belarusian KGB received the idea of new charges from the Russian colleagues. Russians have been producing fakes against the InformNapalm international intelligence community for many years. They also fabricated several fakes on Dzianis Ivashyn in 2016 and 2017, as well as generated fake photos and disinformation materials about Dzianis allegedly being an “agent of a foreign state”. These nonsensical accusations were an informational and psychological operation aimed at Dzianis by the Russian FSB who held a grudge against Dzianis for publishing materials exposing hidden movements of Russian troops across Belarus and other materials that in no way disclosed any secrets of the Republic of Belarus, but were very inconvenient for the Russian Federation.
It is obvious that here the interests of the security forces of Belarus and the FSB of the Russian Federation converged. Thus, a Belarusian journalist and a prisoner of the Lukashenka regime, by order of the Kremlin, now faces up to 15 years in prison. And thus, Dzianis becomes not only a political prisoner of the Lukashenka’s regime, but also a political prisoner of the Putin’s regime.
Over the years that Dzianis has been the editor-in-chief of the Belarusian language version of the InformNapalm website, he did not write about any secrets of Belarus; he also did not hold any government positions providing access to any state secrets, which could have put him in position to commit “high treason”. All his activities were aimed at protecting the interests of the people of Belarus: support to the Belarusian language, prevention of possible hybrid Russian aggression, etc.
If the Lukashenka’s regime goes along with the Russian fakes and demands, and convicts political prisoner Dzianis Ivashyn under Article 356, this will become one more evidence of the complete hybrid absorption of Belarus by the Russian Federation. It is this absorption and this danger to the Belarusian statehood that Dzianis has been warning about over the past 7 years.
Volunteers of the InformNapalm international intelligence community know Dzianis Ivashyn as a loyal patriot of Belarus who has never betrayed his country and his people in any way. In a show of true courage, Dzianis refuses to betray his ideals and to give up, although Belarusian and Russian security officials are trying to psychologically break him. However, sooner or later, tyrannical regimes fall. Therefore, those who now serve them and repress political prisoners are themselves at risk of being put on trial in international tribunals.
We call on the international community, journalists, experts, diplomats, politicians to demand that the Lukashenka regime release all political prisoners illegally held on absurd fabricated charges. The case of Dzianis Ivashyn is a vivid example that shows Belarusian security forces fabricating cases and coordinating their actions with the Russian Federation.
We call for financial assistance to the family of Dzianis Ivashyn
We also kindly ask our readers to financially support the family of Dzianis Ivashyn in their effort to defend him. Please transfer funds through Internet banking to the MasterCard of Dzianis Ivashyn’s mother (Lyudmila Ivashyna); bank details are the following:
5435 5311 6677 1004
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