Imprisoned human rights defender Andrei Bandarenka faces two more years in prison

2017 2017-01-12T15:41:57+0300 2017-01-12T15:43:02+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
Andrei Bandarenka. Photo by RFE/RL

Andrei Bandarenka. Photo by RFE/RL

Human rights defender Andrei Bandarenka, who is serving a sentence in prison in Mahilioŭ, has been formally charged under Part 2 of article 411 of the Criminal Code, ‘malicious disobedience to the correctional institution administration’. If convicted, he may be sentenced an additional term of up to two years.

The charges stem from more than a dozen penalties imposed on the prisoner in various places of detention, where he was serving his sentence. Because of this, the former head of the human rights organization Platform Innovation was labelled a ‘repeat offender of prison rules’.

In addition, Bandarenka continued to be controlled by the prison authorities. On January 11, he received another penalty for allegedly failing to hold hands behind his back. As a result, the prisoner was deprived of his right to receive a food parcel.

If convicted, Bandarenka will become another political prisoner.

On January 16, the Court of Škloŭ District will hear Bandarenka’s appeal against an earlier decision by the prison authorities who found him ‘prone to hostage-taking, attacks on the administration and manifestations of hooliganism.’

Previous attempts to challenge biased and unfounded penalties were unsuccessful. In particular, the court of Mahilioŭ’s Lieninski district refused to consider the prisoner’s complaint.

Bandarenka’s current sentence is expected to expire on March 31, 2017.

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