Human Rights Center 'Viasna' demands immediate release of Artsiom Dubski
On 7 July 2009 Asipovichy district court sentenced the youth activist Artsiom Dubski to one year of imprisonment in a general regime colony. Artsiom was taken to the pre-trial prison right after the announcement of the verdict.
According to the verdict, Artsiom Dubski was found guilty of violation of Article 415 of the Criminal Code (evasion from serving of personal restraint). Bear in mind that on 23 April 2008 Artsiom Dubski, together with some other participants of the ‘Process of 14’ was sentenced to personal restrain under Article 342 of the Criminal Code (organization of active participation in group actions rudely violating the public order), for participation in the peaceful protest action of entrepreneurs on 1 January 2008 in Minsk.
Human Rights Center Viasna has considered the criminal case against participants of the protest action political motivated since its instigation, because Artsiom Dubski and other defendants were persecuted for peacefully exercising their constitutional right to peaceful assembly and the freedom of expression.
The influential international human rights organization Amnesty International declared Artsiom Dubski and the 11 participants of the ‘Process of 14’ who are serving personal restraint prisoners of conscience.
The Belarusian civil society and the international community demanded from the Belarusian authorities to urgently reverse the verdicts to all participants of the ‘Process of 14’ and give them a complete rehabilitation. This demand was also expressed in the latest PACE resolution on Belarus.
The authorities demonstratively ignored these calls and sentenced Artsiom Dubski to one years of imprisonment. Human Rights Center Viasna expresses its resolute protest against it and demands the immediate release of the prisoner of conscience Artsiom Dubski from jail.
Human Rights Center Viasna also insistently calls on the Belarusian authorities to refuse from the practice of politically motivated reprisals towards the country’s citizens and to completely abolish the penalties to all participants of the ‘Process of 14’ who are serving them now.
Human Rights Center Viasna states that it will take all possible efforts with the aim to get Artsiom Dubski released as soon as possible.
Minsk, 8 July 2009