Siarhei Skrabets Can’t Go Abroad

2007 2007-03-15T10:00:00+0200 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”


A former deputy and a political prisoner Siarhei Skrabets has been denied a stamp in the passport allowing to go abroad. The politician has learnt about that on 14 March in the department of citizenship and migration of Pershamaiski district of Minsk.

Three days ago Siarhei Skrabets brought his documents to get a stamp allowing his to go abroad. Skrabets has been told about that decision verbally, and the reasons for denial haven’t been indicated. The reasons for denial are to be stated in a written answer to be received by him in a few days.

The term of the foreign travel permit stamp in Skrabets’ passport has expired when he was in prison. He was released in the end of the last year.

Siarhei Skrabets was charged with helping defraud a state bank of credits and on 14 February 2006 sentenced to 2.5 years of imprisonment. The politician hadn’t pleaded guilty. As said by most observers, the prosecution of Siarhei Skrabets is politically motivated. In summer 2004 he took part in the hunger strike of the Respublika deputies, who demanded democratization of the Electoral Code, and release of one of the Belarusian opposition leaders, Mikhail Marynich. They also protested against referendum for canceling limits for a number of presidential terms. He was one of the organizers of the rally timed to the end of the 10-year presidency of Lukashenka.

In October he was amnestied and the term of detention was cut down by one year. On 15 November 2006 he was released.

Yesterday officers of the court distrained Skrabets’ property as a satisfaction of debt to Belarusbank. Under the verdict of the Supreme Court, Siarhei Skrabets is to pay 1.5 billion rubles (about $700,000) which have allegedly been defrauded by him from the state while he was a deputy.