Human rights activists became aware that blogger Sergei Petrukhin was charged under three articles of the Criminal Code — 342, 369 and 391.
Part 1 of Art. 342 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Belarus — organization or active participation in group actions that grossly violate public order. It is punished with a fine, or arrest, or restriction of liberty for a term of up to 3 years, or imprisonment for the same term.
Article 369 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Belarus — a public insult to a government official in connection with the performance of his duties. It is punished with community service, or a fine, or correctional labor for up to 2 years, or arrest, or restriction of liberty for up to 3 years.
Article 391 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Belarus - insulting a judge or lay judge in connection with the administration of justice. It is punished by a fine or correctional labor for a term of up to 2 years, or by arrest, or restriction of liberty for a term of up to 3 years.
According to preliminary information, articles on “insulting a judge” and “insulting a government official” relate to episodes two years ago.
Sergei Petrukhin was detained on June 16 and punished to a 15-day arrest. Later it turned out that he became the defendant in a criminal case under Art. 342 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Belarus, which was instituted after the incident in Grodno on May 29. On June 25, Petrukhin was taken to the Minsk pre-trial detention center, and from there he was transferred to pre-trial detention center No. 1 on the street. Valadarskaga, where he is now.
The human rights community of Belarus recognized Sergey Petrukhin, as well as other detained bloggers as political prisoners.
Sergey Petrukhin was already convicted in a criminal case in April 2019. He was found guilty under Part 2 of Art. 188 (“Slander”) and part 2 of article 189 (“Insult”) and was punished with a large fine. Human rights activists found the case politically motivated.