A court in Brest sentenced Russian woman Irina Vikkholm to one and a half years in prison for a tweet in which the prosecution saw slander against the President of Belarus, the human rights center Viasna reports.
As clarified by human rights activists, the Russian woman was found guilty under Part 2 of Art. 367 of the Criminal Code of Belarus (libel against the President of the Republic of Belarus). Irina Vikkholm did not admit her guilt.
“At the trial, the woman declares that the criminal case against her clearly has a political motive,” reads the message in the telegram channel of the Belarusian human rights center Viasna.
The detention of Vikholm in Belarus became known in early September. Then the Prosecutor General’s Office of this country reported that a criminal case had been sent to the court against a 58-year-old foreign citizen V.
“Wishing to harm the authority of the state, on May 23, 2021, I posted a publication on the social network Twitter with her mobile phone.
At the same time, the name of the Russian woman in the department was not named. Human rights activists suggested that it was probably about Vikholm.
The publication itself is a correspondence of a message from the BBC about the detention of oppositional Belarusian journalist Roman Protasevich in Minsk. In particular, there is a quote from the statement of the Greek Foreign Ministry, which called the forced landing of the Ryanair plane that took off from Athens an act of “state aviation piracy.”
Further in the publication of the Russian woman, there are links to media publications about the arrest of Roman Protasevich. Vikholm’s tweet has eight likes and four retweets.
Now Irina Vikkholm is on Twitter 72 followers, the last post – dated May 25, it is also dedicated to the arrest of Roman Protasevich. Most of Vikholm’s Twitter posts are retweets of publications in the media and statements by opposition bloggers.
Judging by the data available to human rights activists, the Russian woman was detained at the end of May and since that time has been in one of the Minsk pre-trial detention centers. Later she was transferred to an isolation ward in Brest.
What exactly happened to Irina since the end of May is unknown.
As human rights activists clarify, the woman most likely has no close relatives, and the prosecutor’s office of Belarus announced her arrest in the Russian side only on September 1.
In early September, the Russian embassy in Minsk announced that the Russian woman had been provided with consular support, and the employees of the country’s consulate general in Brest met with her. As noted in the Russian Embassy, Irina Vikkholm herself did not ask for a meeting with a representative of the diplomatic mission.
According to Meduza (the publication is classified by the Russian authorities as a foreign agent), the Russian woman went abroad many years ago: at one time she lived in Finland, in Germany. More than 10 years ago, according to the newspaper, she moved to Brest, where she worked as a nurse for the elderly.