Valyantsin Stefanovich: Any convicted in Process of Fourteen could become next arrested
A well-known Belarusian human rights activist has commented to the Cgarter’97 press-centre the arrest of the underage participant of the Process of Fourteen Maxim Dashuk.
“As it turned out today, another political prisoner Maxim Dashuk was arrested,” Valyantsin Stefanovich said. “It is important to note that since the case of Shydlouski-Labkovich minors haven’t been arrested on political grounds (minors Alyaksei Shydlouski and Vadzim Labkovich were arrested on August 25, 1997 for painting “political” graffiti on the walls of housed in the town of Staubtsy, Minsk region, and for removing the state flag from the building of Staubsty district executive committee. – Charter’97). And Dashuk and Dubski were seized on political motives. They were persecuted for participation in the rally of market vendors on January 10, 2008, for expression of their position, realizing their right for freedom of expression”.
The well-known human rights activist believes that in the context of the latest two arrests the future of the rest convicted in the Process of Fourteen is at risk.
“The same thing that has happened to Maxim Dashuk today, can happen to any former political prisoner. Any move might be viewed as an avoidance of keeping to the rules of service the sentence: any coming late, any fault. Potentially any person convicted in the Process of Fourteen can become the nest arrested”.
As Valyantsin Stefanovich said to the Charter’97, Belarusian human rights activists are set to address international human rights organisations concerning the issue of the new political prisoners which emerged in Belarus.
“The short period when there were no political prisoners in Belarus, has come to an end very soon,” Valyantsin Stefanivich said. “For today we have 5 new political prisoners, and this tendency is very alarming for us”.
As we have informed, today an activist of the civil campaign “European Belarus”, involved in the famous Process of Fourteen, Maxim Dashuk, was arrested. The criminal action against the activist of “European Belarus” was initiated on charges relating Article 415 of the Criminal Code of Belarus “evasion from serving the sentence in the form of restriction of freedom”. The oppositionist was placed to the remand prison of the Internal Affairs Chief Directorate of Minsk city executive committee in Valadarski Street.
The “Process of Fourteen” took place when 14 opposition activists were convicted for participation in protest actions of entrepreneurs on January 10, 2008 in Minsk. The action was initiated on charges relating Article 342 of the Criminal Code of Belarus.
Youth activist Andrei Kim was sentenced to one and a half year in penal colony by the Central district court of Minsk. He was released in August 2008. Other participants of the “Process of Fourteen” – Alyaksei Bondar, Artsyom Dubski, Mikhal Kryvau, Mikhal Pashkevich, Ales Straltsou, Ales Charnyshou, Tatsyana Tsishkevich, Mikhail Subach and Paval Vinahradau, were sentenced to restriction of freedom for 2 years without sending them to penitentiary institutions. Minor Maxim Dashuk got 1 ½ years of restraint of liberty. Now all of them in fact are under home arrest, under close surveillance, and can be imprisoned for any violation of rules any moment.