PandaDoc Employees Arrested in Belarus After Founders Protest Against Violence
On September 2, the Belarus government ordered searches to be conducted at the Minsk office of PandaDoc. During the search, more than 20 employees were prevented from leaving and 7 of them were taken into custody and detained for further interrogation. Some of these employees were subsequently taken into custody from their homes.
Over the next two days, the Financial Investigation Department (FID) arm of the Belarus government interviewed more than one hundred company employees. During those two days, the employees that had been taken into custody were also denied the rights to legal counsel.
Today, on September 4, 2020 we were told that a criminal case was retroactively initiated against PandaDoc employees under part 4 of article 210 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Belarus. Our employees are accused of taking one hundred and seven thousand Belarusian rubles (~40k USD) from the corporate accounts of the company in Minsk abusing their positions, thus causing damage to the State. As a result, our employees have now been placed into custody for two months.
We declare that this accusation by the State of Belarus is completely untrue and has no grounds.
All the company’s activities in Belarus were conducted since its inception in full compliance with the law. Several international audits and inspections by EY and other reputable companies over the last years prove that the company adhered to all regulations and laws prevalent in Belarus.
As recent events in Belarus have demonstrated, it is a common practice of the Belarusian government to oppress political opponents. In this case, the authorities have taken four completely innocent people hostage.
This action is purely an act of repression against the founders of PandaDoc who have been supporting some of the victims of the Belarussian government in the weeks since the stolen Presidential election. The only purpose of this private initiative by Mikita and Sergey has been intended to help stop the violence and is in no way related to PandaDoc.
In response the government has imprisoned:
- Yulia Shardyko, Accountant
- Dmitry Rabtsevich, Director - Minsk office
- Viktar Kuushynau, Product Director
- Vladislav Mikholap, HR
The law in Belarus has ceased to exist. The authorities do not even bother to act according to the prevailing rules and laws of the country. The case and charges are fabricated cases upon political orders ordered from somewhere in the government. This affects everyone in Belarus.
We ask of you:
- Record a video in our support with the tag #SavePandaDoc.
- To express your disagreement in the press, media and social networks with the #SavePandaDoc tag.
- Connect us to journalists and reporters that you know. Our contact is firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are hoping that maximum publicity will show solidarity and pressure to have our colleagues released.