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Trade union activist's wife arrested for following Facebook group

Sviatlana Stukava, wife of Viktar Stukau, activist of the Free Trade Union of Belarus, was detained the day before yesterday right at work. The district police department drew up two administrative reports on her - allegedly for unauthorized picketing and for distribution of extremist materials.


Union activist's wife arrested for following Facebook group
Viktar Stukau and Sviatlana Stukava

However, the police didn't intend to prove the woman's guilt in picketing, so only one application was filed to court. According to Viktar Stukau, the accusation of his wife in distribution of extremist materials is groundless, and he considers the police harassment as revenge for his activity in the free trade union and for his civic position.


Initially, the trade union activist's wife was detained for 72 hours, and on March 1, the judge of Polotsk and the Polotsk district court, Yanina Martsulevich, found Sviatlana Stukava guilty under Part 2 of Art. 19.11 of the Administrative Court and sentenced the woman to 15 days of arrest.


The basis for the accusation was the presence of a subscription to the BySol Facebook page. Victar Stukau, who was the wife's representative during the trial, tried to prove that the subscription had nothing to do with the dissemination of information and that the wife had never contacted BySol.

However, the judge found that the subscription was kept for the purpose of disseminating information about the organization, which was recognized as extremist in Belarus.


Sviatlana Stukava

Protocol, which was drawn up for violation of Art. 24.23 The Criminal Code on Administrative Offenses for posting a photo on Facebook, in which police officers allegedly examined white-red-white protest symbols, was never presented to the court. It is possible that this case will be taken to court later - when the term of Sviatlana's arrest expires.


This is exactly what happened to Victar Stukau when he was detained on September 12 last year at the Polotsk station, just in the train "Polotsk-Moscow". At first he was sent to serve an arrest for an administrative offense back in 2021, reposting materials from an information resource that was later recognized as extremist. When Stukau was already behind bars, he was convicted again - this time for unauthorized picketing, because the police found photos from the 2020 post-election protests in his phone.


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