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Yuliya Laptanovich, mother of three, gets five years in jail

2022 2022-07-18T16:11:39+0300 2022-07-18T16:15:15+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
Ihar and Yuliya Laptanovich with their children

Ihar and Yuliya Laptanovich with their children

On July 18, the Hrodna Regional Court passed a verdict on Yuliya Laptanovich, an activist from Pružany, who has been held behind bars for nine months. Judge Viktar Sianko found the political prisoner guilty under six articles of the Criminal Code and sentenced her to five years of imprisonment in a general-security penal colony. In addition, the court imposed a fine of 608 Belarusian rubles (240 US dollars). Yuliya admitted her guilt partially.

Yuliya and her husband, a political prisoner Ihar Laptanovich, are activists from Pružany. They are both currently behind bars. There are three children in the family.

The couple were convicted on August 4, 2021, in Brest in the ‘dance protest case’ for the events of September 13, 2020, when the protesters were dancing and singing songs and were dispersed with a water cannon. Ihar was sentenced to two and a half years in a penal colony, and Yuliya to three years under home confinement. A few months after the sentencing, on October 13, 2021, Yuliya's home was searched, and she was detained as part of a new criminal case.

The woman allegedly provided personal data and information about the activities of officials to her friend, who had connections with the ‘extremist’ Telegram channels. All these details were published, and the victims, according to the investigation, received threats and insults in connection with the performance of their official duties.

On July 18, Yuliya Laptanovich was found guilty under six articles of the Criminal Code:

  • Article 188 (defamation);
  • Part 1 of Article 13 of Article 369 (creating conditions for insulting a government official);
  • Part 1 of Article 1 of Article 389 (creating conditions for threatening a judge);
  • Part 6 of Article 16 and Part 1 of Article 366 (aiding and abetting the threat of violence against an official);
  • Part 3 of Article 203-1 (illegal actions regarding personal data);
  • Part 1, Article 361-4 (promoting extremist activities).

Judge Viktar Sianko sentenced her to five years in a general-security penal colony and a fine of 2,650 Belarusian rubles (1,050 US dollars). The court also ruled to pay 5,000 rubles (2,000 US dollars) in moral compensation in favor of one of the victims.


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