Irina Vikkholm, born in 1963, has been in the pre-trial detention center of the Belarusian city of Brest for several months. She is suspected of slandering the President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko. The reason for the initiation of the case was the publication on Twitter, informs Belarusian human rights organization “Viasna”.
September 1 prosecutor’s office of Brest reportedthat she sent to the court a criminal case initiated “against the 58-year-old foreign citizen V.”. According to the ministry, she published a photo of Lukashenka and “slanderous information about his committing an act of terrorism and air piracy” on the social network.
The woman was charged under Part 2 of Art. 367 of the Criminal Code (libel against the president). According to human rights activists, she has been in jail since the end of May.
Human rights activists believe that a woman faces a real sentence in a colony, since she cannot be assigned a restriction of freedom or correctional labor due to her foreign citizenship. Also, the Russian woman can be fined.
Twitter user Irina Wickholm. On her page there are many repost articles about the incident with the Ryanair airline, which urgently landed at the request of the Belarusian authorities at the Minsk airport because of the message about “mining”. So, on May 23, the microblog was posted post with the image of Lukashenka, stylized as a photograph of a criminal after his arrest. In the commentary to the picture, the incident with the plane was called “another crime of Lukashenka” and “an act of state aviation piracy”.
On May 23, 2021, the plane of the Irish airline Ryanair, following the route Athens – Vilnius, planted at the Minsk airport after receiving a message about mining. On the instructions of Alexander Lukashenko, a fighter was raised to accompany the passenger plane. Lukashenka personally gave the command to land the plane.
On board the plane were the founder of the opposition Telegram channel Nexta Roman Protasevich and his girlfriend, Russian woman Sofya Sapega. They were arrested, and the liner with the rest of the passengers flew to Vilnius on the same day.
Protasevich was accused of inciting social enmity (due to the disclosure of personal data of security officials), organizing riots and organizing actions that grossly violate public order. And Sophia Sapega was charged with inciting social hostility, as well as participating in riots.
Ryanair’s emergency landing caused an international scandal. A number of airlines obliged their pilots to fly over the territory of Belarus. And at Ryanair landing named “Premeditated theft”. In early June, the EU Council announced that introduces a ban for the use of the airspace of the EU countries by the aircraft of Belarusian airlines, as well as for admission to the EU airports of all types of Belarusian air carriers. Then the European Union, the United States, Great Britain and Canada expanded the sanctions lists adopted against Belarus.
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