Political prisoner Andrei Novikau released, deported to Russia
Political prisoner Andrei Novikau has been released and deported to Russia, whose passport he holds, RFE/RL’s Belarus service said.
A former activist of Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya’s campaign, Novikau was arrested on June 6 and spent nearly six months in pre-trial detention on charges of “group actions that gravely breach public order.”
The deportation took place on November 26, Novikau wrote today in a Telegram channel.
“I was expelled from Belarus with no respect for any laws,” Novikau wrote. “Without any procedures. They took me away with my summer clothes on and only a few personal belongings, which I owned while in prison. They took me to the Russian border and left me there. With a Russian passport and a stamp banning entry to Belarus for 10 years.”
The former political prisoner says that his family is still in Belarus, as they cannot leave yet.
“My status is unclear,” says Andrei Novikau. “I have no confirmation of my current status in the criminal case. The pre-trial detention was canceled without any explanation, after which I was taken away by unknown persons. I am in serious condition. They took my family hostage.”