Convicted founder of the "Platform" Mikhail Zhamchuzhny sends letters to freedom again

2015 2015-09-01T16:32:36+0300 2015-09-03T15:49:50+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
Mikhail Zhamchuzhny

Mikhail Zhamchuzhny

He writes he has been kept in the penal cell of Viciebsk remand prison No. 2 and hasn't been allowed any meeting with his relatives for six months. August 12, he had the first meeting with his cousin for the six months.

Viciebsk coordinator of the organizing committee of the Belarusian Christian Democracy party Tatsiana Seviarynets received two letters from Mikhail Zhamchuzhny. One of them was dated August 3, and the other – August 10.

"Both letters came the same day. The letter of August 10 was very short – Mikhail wrote that he had to give little information in order to prevent the letters from being seized by the censors. The letter of August 3 was more informative. Mikhail writes that after the sentence imposed by Viciebsk Regional Court, he has sent six letters, which weren't let out by the prison censors. He also mentions that his criminal case concerns him alone, which pleases him, as no other people were put under suspicion or received penalties. He also hints that KGB had some relation to his work – that he was watched for three years, and the sentence to him is an attempt to justify their wages and the results of the spying.

The founder of the "Platform Innovation", Viciebsk resident Mikhail Zhamchuzhny was sentenced to six years in a high-security correctional colony. He was found guilty of committing crimes under Art. 376 (parts 1 and 2), part 5 of Art. 16, Art. 375 (part 1), Art. 431 (parts 1 and 2): illegal purchase of equipment for secret collection of information with the intent to sell it, deliberate disclosure of information constituting official secrets, bribery and incitement to crime.

The prosecutor asked to sentence Mr. Zhamchuzhny to 7 years in prison, while the court gave him just 6. Later, the prosecutor issued a protest, considering the sentence too mild, and now Mikhail Zhamchuzhny composes and objection to the protest.

As reported by the website of “Viciebsk Spring” after the announcement of the verdict, he sent eight letters to his colleagues and friends, which were confiscated by the censors and didn't reach the recipients. Only after a special decision of Viciebsk Regional Court of August 11, by which he was reinstated in his right to send and receive mail correspondence, he managed to send his letters.

Moreover, virtually all parcels that were sent to him were returned to their senders, after which he also had to receive from any parcels, because he was accused that they were allegedly financed by foreign intelligence services.

According to the letters, sent by Mikhail Zhamchuzhny to Viciebsk human rights activists, on August 12, 2015 he had the first meeting with a relative, his cousin, since the time of his arrest in August 2014. She told him that the state pressurized almost all his relatives, including those who used to be juvenile prisoners during the Nazi occupation.

The circumstances of the criminal prosecution of Mr. Zhamchuzhny still remain unclear for human rights activists. The trial over him was held behind the closed doors, and he cannot write any information that could shed light on the essence of his case. His lawyer cannot do it either. Nevertheless, the human rights community of Belarus is attentively watching the fate of Mikhail Zhamchuzhny.