Ales Bialiatski: Belarus still has political prisoners
Commenting on the sentence that was given on 15 June to the participant of the ‘process of 14’ Maxim Dashuk (15 months of personal restraint without direction to open prison facility) the head of the liquidated Human Rights Center Viasna Ales Bialiatski stated:
‘In the formal respect the sentenced on the criminal case against Maxim Dahuk looks quite mild, as Article 415 of the Criminal Code, under which he was judged, provides 6-30 months of imprisonment. Article #70 of the Criminal Code was used at the trial and some mitigating circumstances were found.
Such ‘liberal’ attitude to the defendant from the side of the court witnesses ensues from the fact that the international human rights organization Amnesty International had declared Maxim Dashuk a prisoner of conscience. Thus, the political factor and the attention of the international organizations to such trials give certain result.
However, pitifully enough, Maxim Dashuk still remains a prisoner of conscience, which witnesses that there are still political prisoners in Belarus.’