Patrytsia Svitsina (file photo)

(By RFE/RL’s Belarus Service; Photo: Radio Free Europe.)

Belarusian singer Patrytsia Svitsina, who in 2020 refused to accept a scholarship from authoritarian ruler Alyaksandr Lukashenka, citing her “moral principles,” is facing a charge of “actively participating in actions that blatantly disrupt social order.”

The Minsk-based Vyasna human rights center said on June 16 that Svitsina was placed in a detention center. If convicted, she faces up to four years in prison.

On May 18, Svitsina was shown on pro-government Telegram channels “confessing” to taking part in mass protests against the official results of the August 2020 presidential poll that proclaimed Lukashenka the winner, blocking public transportation operations, and publishing on social media “negative information” about Russia’s unprovoked

In 2020, Svitsina, who was then studying at the Ethnology and Folklore Department at Belarusian State University in Minsk, publicly rejected Lukashenka’s scholarship amid an unprecedented crackdown on dissent amid claims the election was rigged.

Vyasna also said on June 16 that the Minsk City Court sentenced a former employee of the capital’s Kastrychnik district administration, Svyatlana Bychkouskya, in late May, to 5 1/2 years in prison on charges of inciting hatred, illegal usage of computer data, illegal usage of personal data, and abuse of office.

The charges are linked to the online personal data of law enforcement officers who were involved in the brutal dispersal of the unprecedented rallies that lasted for several months against the official results of the 2020 election.

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