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Political prisoner Aleh Yafremenka sentenced to another year in jail for ‘disobedience’

2022 2022-08-16T17:21:31+0300 2022-08-16T17:21:31+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

On August 15, 2022, the Lieninski District Court of Mahilioŭ convicted political prisoner Aleh Yafremenka, who was charged under Part 1 of Article 411 of the Criminal Code of ‘malicious disobedience to the demands of the administration of the correctional institution’. Judge Viktoryia Paliakova sentenced Yafremenka to another 12 months of imprisonment.

Previously, the political prisoner already had his custody level raised. In September 2021, Yafremenka was transferred from the colony, where he was serving a term for knocking down a police officer, to the Mahilioŭ high-security prison. It is known that the administration of the Mahilioŭ prison regularly placed the political prisoner in a disciplinary cell.

Aleh Yafremenka is a resident of Viciebsk, he has been held behind bars for 23 months. On December 9, 2020, he was convicted of ‘violence or against an employee of the internal affairs bodies’ (Article 364 of the Criminal Code). He was accused of knocking down a police officer during the rally on September 13, 2020. As a result, the officer fell and scratched his palms. The court sentenced Yafremenka to 4.5 years of imprisonment in a penal colony. He was sent to Mahilioŭ penal colony No. 15 to serve his term. But after a few months, his punishment was increased and he was transferred to prison.

A new criminal case was brought by the administration of Mahilioŭ Prison No. 4. There, Aleh was regularly placed in a disciplinary cell for trumped-up reasons.

Yafremenka's case was considered in the Lieninski District Court of Mahilioŭ on July 26, 2022. First, the political prisoner was charged under Part 2 of Art. 411 of the Criminal Code, but during the trial, the charges were reclassified to the first part of the same article which provides for a milder punishment.

On August 15, Judge Viktoryia Paliakova sentenced Aleh to another 12 months in jail in addition to his previous term of 4.5 years. 

According to human rights defenders, at least 30 political prisoners were transferred to a high-security prison over the past year, and new criminal cases were initiated against another 14 under Article 411 of the Criminal Code for ‘disobedience’


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