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Human rights defender Tatsiana Lasitsa pardoned and released after 20 months in prison

2022 2022-09-26T17:49:06+0300 2022-09-26T17:49:43+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

Political prisoner, human rights activist, and Viasna volunteer Tatsiana Lasitsa was unexpectedly released from Homieĺ correctional facility. Tatsiana spent behind bars a total of 1 year and 8 months.

The reason for her release was a presidential pardon.

Aliaksei Kolchyn, a Board member of the Human Rights Center “Viasna”, commented on Lasitsa’s release:

“We are very happy that Tatsiana was released and is no longer in captivity. But we must remember how much time she spent in detention – she was sentenced to two and a half years in prison and served almost all her sentence. She was released just a couple of months before her release date. I don’t think that in this case, we should talk about any significant change in the attitude of Belarusian authorities towards Viasna, human rights activists, and political dissidents."

Tatsiana Lasitsa was detained on 21 January 2021. She was charged under part 1 and part 2 of Article 342 of the Criminal Code (organization of or active participation in group actions that grossly violate public order). The human rights community recognized her as a political prisoner. On 3 November 2021 Judge Salouski sentenced Tatsiana Lasitsa to two years and six months of imprisonment. Human rights defender Leanid Sudalenka was tried at the same trial, he is still in prison.

Six members of the Human Rights Center “Viasna” are currently in captivity: Ales Bialiatski, Valiantsin Stefanovich, Uladzimir Labkovich, Marfa Rabkova, Andrei Chapiuk, and Leanid Sudalenka.