Belarus : Conviction for espionage of an activist after an untransparent investigation and trial

Press release
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FIDH is concerned about the conviction of 23 year old youth activist, Andrey Haidukou, who was sentenced to 1.5 years in prison on 1 July 2013 for the attempted “establishment of cooperation with the security services of a foreign state” (Article 14, part. 1 and 356.1 of the Belarusian Criminal Code).

From the beginning of this case, the procedure has involved several disturbing and even illegal elements, including a lack of transparency regarding methods of investigation, the infringement of Mr Haidukou’s right to defend himself (by limiting meetings with his lawyer), unjustified requalification of the charges against Mr. Haidukou very shortly before his the trial and KGB involvement in the process.

The offence with which Andrei Haidukou is charged does not fit into the category of socially dangerous crimes, and yet, since November 2012 he has been deprived of his liberty under Article 356 ("high treason through espionage"), despite the fact that this charge was later dropped. The new charges do not justify trial behind closed doors.

In light of the procedural violations and politically motivated nature of the trial, FIDH requests the revision of the verdict in accordance with the law, the Belarusian Constitution, and international standards on the right to a defense and a fair and transparent trial.

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