Valiantsin Stefanovich: Release of political prisoners out of question
Deputy Head of the Human Rights Center "Viasna" Valiantsin Stefanovich has commented on the results of the trial of Mikalai Dziadok, which ended yesterday in a prison in Mahiliou.
“We clearly recognize the sentencing of Mikalai Dziadok as a politically motivated one. It is evident that he was convicted for the disciplinary sanctions that were imposed on him much earlier. It is especially cynical that the trial took place just a few days before the end of the political prisoner’s sentence. In general, the presence of Article 411 in the Criminal Code is intolerable, as it allows the administration of prisons to use it selectively against disloyal inmates. It is a pity that the Belarusian authorities did not listen to the opinion of human rights defenders. Thus, they show their attitude to the issue of political prisoners in Belarus, and obviously are not going to change their position. The release of political prisoners is out of the question,” said the human rights defender.
The trial of Mikalai Dziadok was held on 25 and 26 February in Mahiliou prison No. 4. He was charged with 16 violations of the prison rules, including wearing a tracksuit instead of prison uniform.
Judge Ihar Shvedau of the Leninski District Court of Mahiliou sentenced Mikalai Dziadok to one year in prison for violation of Article 411 of the Criminal Code. The political prisoner has three more days to serve from the original term.