Political prisoner Dzmitry Furmanau is free
Political prisoner Dzmitry Furmanau has been released after 18 months in prison, RFE/RL’s Belarus service said.
A member of Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya’s presidential campaign, Furmanau was arrested on May 29, 2020, together with Siarhei Tsikhanouski and a dozen activists.
At the time of the arrest, Dzmitry was collecting voters’ signatures in a campaign tent.
“Several masked men appeared and grabbed me. I was punched in the face and lost consciousness for a while. Then they threw me to the floor of a bus and twisted my wrist, which made me come round. This is how I spent the entire time before being unloaded into a building, which I had never seen before. I was brought in with a hood on my head – just like a criminal - to a police building, as I later found out. The people who kidnapped me were not in police uniforms,” Furmanau said in court.
The trial of Dzmitry, together with several others detained on May 29 in Hrodna, began in January 2021. Furmanau was accused of “organizing and preparing actions that grossly violate public order”. The campaign activist was eventually sentenced to 2 years in a general-security penal colony, of which he served only six months, since 1 day in pre-trial detention equals 1.5 days in prison.