Updated at 14:58,21-10-2016

Andrey Haydukow was observer in September's elections

29-11-2012, 18:04
Andrey Haydukow was observer in September's elections

Young activist Andrey Haydukow, who is in custody on a charge of high treason, was an opposition candidates campaign aide and an observer in Septembers parliamentary elections.

Mr. Haydukow, 22, campaigned for Natallya Valyayeva, a member of the Hramada Belarusian Social Democratic Party who was on the ballot in the Polatsk district, Vitsyebsk region, in the elections, reported the opposition news site charter97.org.

Mr. Haydukow passed out leaflets and put up posters in villages during the electioneering effort.

While monitoring voting at a polling station inside a school, Mr. Haydukow noticed that the top of one ballot box was slightly open and demanded that the results of voting on that day be annulled, according to Ms. Valyayeva.

The former parliamentary candidate described Mr. Haydukow as an active, enterprising and promising young man.

"Andrey has many positive qualities and what has happened to him underlines yet again the absurdity of the existing regime. My associates and I support him in thought and action and hope for his speedy return," Ms. Valyayeva said.

Mr. Haydukow was arrested in Vitsyebsk on November 8. He was immediately taken to the KGB jail in Minsk and charged with spying.

KGB spokesman Alyaksandr Antanovich announced five days later that Mr. Haydukow had "gathered and passed political and economic information on the instructions of a foreign intelligence agency," and that he had been caught in the act of making a dead drop.

An opposition group called European Belarus said earlier this month that Mr. Haydukow had been arrested in connection with the distribution of a bulletin titled Charter'97.
According to European Belarus, Mr. Haydukow brought a portion of the print run of the bulletin for distribution in the Vitsyebsk region and was arrested when he was handling it for storage.

The Criminal Code's Article 356, which penalizes high treason, provides for penalties ranging from up to 15 years in prison to the death sentence.