Political consultant arrested in Belarus accused of inciting riots
Well-known political consultant Vitaly Shklyarov, who was arrested in Belarus on July 29, is facing charges of inciting riots under Article 342 of the Belarusian Criminal Code, Shklyarov’s lawyer Anton Gashinsky told the news outlet Tut.by.
According to Gashinsky, Shklyarov is complaining about coming under pressure from the authorities in pretrial detention and considers his case politically motivated. “Vitaly is sure that he has been arrested and persecuted for political reasons, over comments [made] on his blog,” his lawyer explained.
After arresting Shklyarov on July 29, the Belarusian security services claimed that he was working to mobilize the protest electorate in support of opposition blogger Sergey Tikhanovsky (Syarhey Tsikhanousky). Shklyarov maintains that he has no connection to Tikhanovsky at all.
Political consultant Vitaly Shklyarov is known for his previous campaign work for a range of high-profile politicians, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, former U.S. president Barack Obama, former U.S. presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, and Russian presidential candidate Ksenia Sobchak.