Viasna welcomes the release of Pavel Seviarynets
This morning, on October 19, political prisoner Pavel Seviarynets, co-chair of the organizing committee of the party Belarusian Christian Democracy (BCD), was released from special settlement No. 7 in the village of Kuplin, Pruzhany district, Brest region, where he had been serving a three-year sentence for involvement in the events of December 19, 2010.
As the BelaPAN news agency reports, his friends, colleagues and journalists were planning to meet the imprisoned politician outside the settlement, as he was expected to be released at about 10 a.m. However, at about 6 a.m. it was announced that Pavel was already on his way to Minsk. At 3.30 he was taken out of the special settlement and put on a train Brest-Moscow, which arrived in the capital at 8:42.
Pavel Seviarynets, who during the last presidential election chaired the campaign headquarters of BCD candidate Vital Rymasheuski, served a three-year sentence for participation in the events of December 19, 2010. He was arrested when leaving Independence Square on the night of December 20. He spent the following five months in the KGB detention center.
In May 2011, the Court of Minsk’s Zavodski district found him guilty under Par. 1, Art. 342 of the Criminal Code (organization and preparation of activities that breach public order or active participation in them), and sentenced the politician to three years of imprisonment in a special settlement in Pruzhany district.
Belarusian and international human rights organizations recognized Pavel Seviarynets a political prisoner. Both the European Union and the United States demanded his release.
The imprisoned politician was denied a right to be releases on parole or amnestied. According to him, this was done because the government had to show its strength. Besides, the politician did not write a petition for parole.
Pavel Seviarynets said that at half past three in the morning he was suddenly awakened by the staff of the special settlement and told to pack his things. After that he was taken to the railway station and given a train ticket to Minsk. According to Pavel, the police even helped him carry his luggage, and the deputy head of the special settlement said with a smile that Sevyarinets could not run for President, because he now had two convictions.
Seviarynets also said that on arriving in Minsk and learning about the detention of journalists (later released without charges), he tried to visit them at the police station where they were being held. However, he was advised to leave as soon as possible, noting that as soon as he left the station, the journalists would be released.
According to Pavel Sevyarinets, massive arrests were avoided today because of a working mission of the International Monetary Fund which is currently on a visit to Minsk.
The politician is expected to attend the Congress of the Young Christian Democrats on October 20, and on October 22 Sevyarinets is meeting with journalists and the public.
In addition, on October 21 Seviarynets must be registered with the police department in Vitsebsk. He also must report on all changes in his life, including place of residence, marital status, or something else.
Pavel Seviarynets also says he intends to continue to engage in political activities.