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“Road Home” ends up in jail: Tatsiana Kurylina sentenced to four years in prison

2023 2023-03-31T15:24:57+0300 2023-03-31T15:24:57+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
Tatsiana Kurylina in court

Tatsiana Kurylina in court

Protest online group admin Tatsiana Kurylina, 49, was tried behind closed doors by the Homieĺ Regional Court for more than three months. The court found her guilty and sentenced her to four and a half years of imprisonment in a general-security penal colony.

In addition, the Kurylina has to pay a fine of 3,200 Belarusian rubles (approx. $1,200) and compensations for moral damages to “severely offended and injured persons” totaling 23,500 rubles (approx. $9,300).

Tatsiana Kurylina had been abroad for a long time, according to media reports. In January 2022, Belarusian security forces hacked into several protest online groups. Already in February, Kurylina appeared on a TV show hosted by a pro-government journalist Kseniya Lebedzeva.

Lebedzeva said that the activist returned to Belarus from Poland as part of the Road Home initiative, which is widely advertised by the authorities as a way for protesters who left the country to “return home without consequences”.

According to the dissident law-enforcers' initiative, Bypol, Kurylina's return was a KGB special operation. The woman was seduced by a young man and asked to return to him in Belarus, promising to solve all issues.

Based on the case records, from August 20, 2020, to February 20, 2022, Kurylina called the participants of a Telegram group for violent actions against government officials and law enforcement agencies. Without the consent of the victims, among whom there are prosecutors and judges as well, she illegally collected, systematized, and disseminated information about their private life, thus causing substantial damage to their rights and legitimate interests. 


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