Political prisoner Mikalai Dziadok sentenced to 5 years in prison
The Minsk City Court sentenced Mikalai Dziadok, a 33-year-old political prisoner, blogger and anarchist, to five years in a general-security penal colony. Judge Anastasiya Papko found him guilty of “organizing and preparing actions that grossly violate public order, or active participation in them” (Art. 342), “calls for actions aimed at harming the national security of the Republic of Belarus” (Art. 361) and “illegal actions with regard to combustible substances” (Art. 295-3 of the Criminal Code). Before the trial, Dziadok has been in custody for 12 months.
Mikalai Dziadok was arrested on November 11 near Asipovičy, a town 90 km southeast of Minsk. Security officers beat the activist and gassed him with pepper spray in order to force him confess on camera.
After arrest, Dziadok was brought to Minsk and beaten again at the GUBAZIK office. He lay on the floor for four hours, was beaten with a truncheon, electrocuted and threatened with rape. The police officers did this to force Dziadok disclose passwords and the names of administrators of several Telegram channels. In court, Mikalai told about the torture in detail:
“I started screaming, then one officers took a pillow from the couch and pressed my head into it. I felt that I couldn’t breathe and tried to shout that I was ready to say the password. But they didn’t hear me and kept my head in the pillow for a while. When raised my head, I said I needed time to remember the password since I was in stress and forgot it. Then they kept beating me and I remembered the password in a minute.
Most of the threats were voiced by an officer I later identified as Ivan Tarasik: “We will take you to the forest, undress you and see how you satisfy women, whether you can only use your tongue. Now we will go to the Gestapo, and there you will cry and hate yourself.” As I understood, the “Gestapo” stood for the [GUBAZIK] building on Revaliucyjnaja Street. At the same time, I was constantly insulted and beaten. They took the pillow and tortured me.”