Statement by the Human Rights Center “Viasna”: Stop Criminal Prosecution of Vasil Parfiankou
On 19 April,
Pershamaiski District Department of the Investigative Committee in Minsk
notified the former political prisoner Vasil Parfiankou that he was facing criminal
charges for violating the conditions of preventive supervision established by
the Court of Minsk Pershamaiski District on January 5, 2012 for the period of
In February 2011, Vasil Parfiankou was sentenced to four years of imprisonment under Par. 2 Art. 293 of the Criminal Code (“participation in mass disorders”) for involvement in the protest against electoral fraud during the 2010 presidential election; he was pardoned by a decree of the President in August 2011. After participating in a rally of solidarity with political prisoners on December 19, 2011, he was arrested for 12 days, after which he was placed under preventive supervision.
The Human Rights Center “Viasna” believes that Vasil Parfiankou’s prosecution is politically motivated, and solely related to the desire of the authorities to sanction his activities, as well as a desire to intimidate other political and civil activists on the eve of the 2012 parliamentary elections. This is confirmed by the establishment of a preventive supervision of two other former political prisoners – Uladzimir Yaromenak and Pavel Vinahradau.
Vasil Parfiankou faces up to one year and six months of imprisonment, and after the case file reaches the court, he will certainly be recognized as the new political prisoner.
The Human Rights Center “Viasna” demands:
- immediate and unconditional release of all political prisoners from detention facilities;
- termination of criminal proceedings against Vasil Parfiankou;
- expungement of the criminal records of all the persons illegally convicted for involvement in the events of December 19, 2010, which will be viewed as a step towards their rehabilitation and will allow them to continue their political activities, including running in the elections at all levels.