Viasna activists Leanid Sudalenka and Tatsiana Lasitsa sentenced to 3 and 2 ½ years in prison
Judge Siarhei Salouski found Sudalenka and Lasitsa guilty of “organizing and preparing actions that grossly violated public order” (Part 1, Article 342 of the Criminal Code), and “training and preparing persons to participate in such actions, as well as their financing or other material support” (Part 2, Article 342 of the Criminal Code). Leanid Sudalenka was sentenced to three years of imprisonment in a general-security penal colony, and Tatsiana Lasitsa to two and a half years of imprisonment in a general-security penal colony.
On October 13, the prosecutors, Yauhen Fartushniak and Kiryl Vyshniakou, requested three years' sentences for both activists. Another Viasna volunteer, Maryia Tarasenka, who was on trial in the same criminal case but remain free, was expected to be sentenced to two and a half years in prison. Tarasenka was eventually forced to leave Belarus.
The trial over human rights activist Leanid Sudalenka and Viasna volunteers Tatsiana Lasitsa and Maryia Tarasenka started on September 3 and was held behind closed doors. Sudalenka and Lasitsa have been in custody since January 18 and 21, respectively.
As Sudalenka told in his letters, he was accused of:
- paying for firewood for the children from a large family, whose father was later convicted of “rioting”;
- appearing in a video on YouTube to explain to blogger Andrei Pavuk what a people’s protest is;
- a call on social media to meet Maryia Tulzhankova after serving 15 days of administrative imprisonment;
- arranging a seminar on digital security for human rights defenders;
- payment of fines, court fees and lawyers’ services.
Both Leanid Sudalenka and Tatsiana Lasitsa were called political prisoners by the country’s human rights community.