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What happened to political prisoners on November 21–27

2022 2022-11-28T21:17:48+0300 2022-11-28T21:17:48+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

There are currently 1,445 political prisoners in Belarus—and counting. Every week the courts keep handing down new sentences and laying new charges against those already in custody. But there are also those who have served their term and are finally released. Viasna has collected all the news about political prisoners from November 21–27.

Latest convictions

Last week, Viasna received the reports of at least six people convicted in court.

  • On November 18, 2022, the Maskoŭski District Court of Brest passed a verdict on Anton Yakavuk. Judge Maryna Skalkovich found the political prisoner guilty of ‘insulting the president’ (Article 368 of the Criminal Code) and sentenced him to 12 months of imprisonment in a general-security penal colony. It is known that Yakavuk posted a video of Lukashenka on one of the social networks, which was accompanied by one “offensive” word.
  • On November 21, 2022, the Homieĺ Regional Court sentenced Arseni Chyzhyk to two and a half years of imprisonment in a general-security penal colony for his comments on the Internet in connection with the deaths of IT worker Andrei Zeltser and KGB agent Dzmitry Fedasiuk. Judge Ruslan Tsaruk found Chyzhyk guilty of ‘inciting social hatred’ under Article 130 of the Criminal Code. Initially, the political prisoner was also charged with ‘insulting a government official’ under Article 369 of the Criminal Code but these charges were later dropped.
  • On November 24, 2022, Judge Andrei Mlechka of the Frunzienski District Court of Minsk sentenced Uladzislau Pliushchаu to three years of imprisonment in a general-security penal colony and a fine of 9,600 Belarusian rubles ($3,800). Pliushchаu is a famous Belarusian musician. On August 2, 2022, he had been sentenced to 24 months in jail for ‘slandering and insulting a government official’ (Articles 188 and 369 of the Criminal Code). This time the musician was charged under another three articles of the Criminal Code:

    • insulting a government official (Article 369),
    • defamation (Article 188), and
    • illegal actions with respect to information about private life and personal data (part 3 of Article 203-1).
  • On November 25, 2022, Judge Anzhela Kastsiukevich of the Minsk Municipal Court sentenced Maksim Latsuntsevich to 22 months of imprisonment in a general-security penal colony and ordered a fine of 3,200 Belarusian rubles ($1,270). Latsuntsevich was convicted of ‘inciting social hatred’ and ‘insulting a government official’ under Part 1 of Article 130 and Article 369 of the Criminal Code in the ‘Zeltser case’. Before his detention, Latsuntsevich had worked at Alivarya brewery. He has seven children.
  • On November 25, anarchist Dzmitry Dubouski was found guilty under part 2 of Article 339 of the Criminal Code (‘hooliganism’) and part 2 of Article 218 of the Criminal Code (‘intentional destruction or damage to property’). Judge Aleh Kaliada sentenced the political prisoner to five years in a medium-security penal colony. Previously, Dubouski had been sentenced to 18 years of imprisonment articles for setting fire to government officials’ vehicles, the building of the traffic police and the state committee of expertise in the Homieĺ region. Thus, the final combined penalty is 20 years of imprisonment in a medium-security penal colony.
  • On November 25, Judge Sviatlana Charapovich of the Pieršamajski District Court of Minsk sentenced Mikhail Hromau to two and a half years of restricted freedom under home confinement. Hromau is a former deputy chairman of the Belarusian Radio-Electrical Manufacturing Workers' Trade Union (REM). He was arrested on April 19, 2022, and charged under Article 342 of the Criminal Code (‘group actions that grossly violate the public order’).


Last week, two people finished serving their terms in full and were released from penal colonies:

  • Yauhen Kahotska finished serving a 12-month term of restricted freedom.
  • Hanna Vishniak was released after her 30-months prison term was over. She has spent 758 days behind bars.

Other news

  • Yauhen Nareika was transferred to the detention center as a new criminal case was opened against him. According to preliminary information, Nareika was charged with ‘insulting the president’ (Article 368 of the Criminal Code).
  • The case of Danuta Perednya was reconsidered. She was again sentenced to 6.5 years in jail.
  • Aliaksandr Raentau and Aliaksandr Pinchuk are to be transferred from the penal colony to prison.
  • Mikalai Statkevich fell ill with pneumonia in the colony. He was placed in the hospital.
  • Maryia Kalesnikava was placed in the punishment cell after she had received three reprimands from the administration of the Homel women's colony.
  • Human rights defender Leanid Sudalenka is under pressure in the colony. He has been declared a “violator” and deprived of a short visit and the right to buy things in the jail store since September.
  • Darya Losik has been subjected to violations of the rules of parcel delivery, reducing their total weight.
  • Ivan Zianko received another 12 months of imprisonment under Article 411 of the Criminal Code (malicious disobedience to the demands of administration of the correctional institution) in addition to five years in jail.
  • Aliaksandr Yarashuk was charged with ‘appeals to sanctions’ (Article 361 of the Criminal Code).


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