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Persecution and mistreatment of trade union activists does not stop: The story of Viktar Krival

On April 8, 2023, three officers of the Uzda police raided the house of a former activist of the union REP, which was liquidated in Belarus by a decision of the Supreme Court.

Persecution and mistreatment of trade union activists does not stop: The story of Viktor Krival
Viktar Krival

The officers explained that the reason for their visit was the alleged report they had received on April 8 that Kryval Viktar "may be involved in the commission of illegal acts related to protest activities committed with destructive intent" and in the "storage of materials with extremist orientation."

Nothing was found during the search, but Viktar was arrested anyway because he refused to turn on his son's computer.

That same day, Viktar was arrested and put in a punishment cell where the temperature was about 4 degrees and there was only an iron couch and a wooden chair.

On April 11, 2023, a court hearing was held in the Uzda County Court for a misdemeanor under Administrative Code Article 24.3, "disobedience to a lawful order or request of a public official in the exercise of his official authority." As a result, Judge Kostrikov A.I. decided to postpone the trial until May 3, 2023. Viktar was released.

On May 3, 2023, the adjourned trial took place. Judge Aleh Barysau rejected the request to conduct the trial in Belarusian, pointing out that "considering the fact that the current legislation requires two languages for conducting court proceedings, the session should be conducted in Russian. During the trial, Viktar Kryval stated that "the essence of the crime I am charged with is not clear."

Viktar did not admit his guilt. As a result, the session was adjourned to May 5, 2023.

On May 5, 2023, another adjourned meeting was held, as a result of which Viktar Kryval was sentenced to 15 days of imprisonment under Article 24.3 of the Administrative Code for disobedience to a lawful order or request of an official in the performance of his duties.

Since May 6, Viktar has been on a dry hunger strike to protest the illegal actions of law enforcement and judicial authorities. Viktar's condition visibly deteriorated and the request to admit a doctor was denied. On May 12, 2023, Viktar was taken by ambulance to the hospital where he is now.

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