Imprisoned human rights activist Andrei Bandarenka faces fresh criminal charges
On November 14, the Mahilioŭ interdistrict department of the Investigative Committee opened a criminal case under Part 2 of Article 411 of the Criminal Code (“willful disobedience to the correctional institution administration”) against human rights activist Andrei Bandarenka, who is currently serving a 3-year sentence in prison No. 4.
The investigation has been launched on the initiative of the prison administration and may result in up to 2 years of additional imprisonment for the founder of the Platform Innovation NGO.
Bandarenka has reportedly refused to testify and rejected the services of a duty counsel. His interests will be represented by a different lawyer.
It is yet unknown what was the basis for opening the criminal proceedings against the human rights defender.
On November 30, Andrei Bandarenka is expected to be visited by his lawyer. On the same day, the Mahilioŭ Regional Court will hear two appeals against the disciplinary penalties recently imposed on the prisoner for alleged violation of internal rules.
Andrei Bandarenka, former head of Platform Innovation, a human rights NGO engaged in monitoring places of detention. In 2014, he was found guilty of disorderly conduct, malicious hooliganism and especially malicious hooliganism against three people and sentenced to three years in a medium-security penal colony. He was expected to be released on March 31, 2017.