Aliaksei Shydlouski Asks Political Asylum in Czech
A former political prisoner, opposition activist Aliaksei Shydlouski has asked for political asylum in Czech. The reason is that he faces 10 years of jail because of a criminal case under part 3 of article 339 of the Criminal Code (hooliganism) has been brought against him recently.
‘It was a provocation’, comments Shydlouski’s wife Maryna Lebedzeva. ‘Aliaksei quarreled with a shop assistant because of Lukashenka’s portrait which was standing on the counter. ‘Aliaksei was putting the portrait down, whereas the salesman was raising it again. Then the latter pushed Aliaksei and started beating him. Another shop worker ran at his help. Then they started beating Aliaksei together and he had to stand for himself. Soon the police arrived and arrested him.’
Lebedzeva said that at present Shydlouski is in Czech, in a special refugee camp. ‘He will have to spend a month in quarantine. Then the authorities will consider his documents for receiving the status of political refugee and receiving a Geneva passport. It can take from 2 months to 2 years.’
Bear in mind that in February 1998 Shydlouski was sentenced to 1,5 years of jail for anti-presidential graffiti in the settlement of Staubtsy in Minsk oblast. This deed was qualified as ‘malignant hooliganism’. In 2001 Shydlouski was expelled from the Institute of Contemporary Knowledge and sentenced to two years of corrective labor for participation in the underground youth movement Zubr.