37 political prisoners were released in August, 30 of them completing their sentences
At the moment, there are 1,510 political prisoners in Belarus, and their number is increasing weekly. At the same time, every month several dozen political prisoners leave their places of detention either after the expiration of the sentence, or after the trial before being sent to an open-type correctional facility or to serve time in home confinement. According to Viasna, at least 37 political prisoners were released in August, 30 of whom served their sentences in full, seven people were sentenced to home confinement or restriction of freedom in an open-type correctional facility and released from jail. What they served their sentences for and how many of them were kept in places of captivity — Viasna reports in the monthly digest.
30 political prisoners have fully served their sentences and have been released
We publish the stories of some of them.
Political prisoner Viktar Labko — 2 years in prison
The political prisoner was convicted in Brest in the "round dance case", initiated on the events of September 13, 2020, when protesters took to the roadway and were dispersed by a water cannon. In the court of the Moscow district of Brest on May 7, 2021, Viktar was sentenced to 2 years in an open-type correctional facility.
Viktor was serving time in open-type correctional facility №49 in Shklou. On August 1, he was released, having fully served his sentence, the Brest Viasna reports.
Political prisoner Lyudmila Ramanovich — 1 year, 4 months, and 3 days in prison
The activist of the Belarusian National Front party was sentenced to 1.5 years in prison for the word "usurper" in a letter that the woman sent to the Investigative Committee. This was considered an insult to Lukashenka (Art. 368 of the Criminal Code). It is known that in early March 2022, Ramanovich addressed a letter of protest to the website of the Lukashenka administration. Then the woman protested against Belarus' participation in the war against Ukraine.
According to the Brest Viasna, Lyudmila was released on August 7, 2023.
Political prisoner Ivan Rakits — 2 years, 5 months, and 1 day in prison
Ivan is a resident of Brest, who was sentenced to 2.5 years in a penal colony for allegedly punching police lieutenant colonel Dziahel in the jaw on August 9, 2020. The prosecution characterized the injury received by the lieutenant colonel as a "minor bodily injury". Rakits pleaded not guilty at the trial.
According to the Brest Viasna, on August 11, Rakits fully served his sentence and was released.
Political prisoner Illia Patrushau — 2 years, 4 months, and 24 days in prison
In October 2021, Illia was sentenced to two years and eight months in a general regime colony under three articles.
According to the information of the Homel Viasna, Illia Patrushau has fully served his sentence and was released on August 15, 2023.
Political prisoner Alisa Ramanava — 10 months and 19 days in prison
The woman was detained on September 30, 2022 for a message in a Telegram chat on Article 368 of the Criminal Code (insulting Lukashenka). In the court of the Moscow district of Brest on November 11, 2022, she was sentenced to one year of imprisonment in a general regime colony. She served her sentence in Homel correctional colony No. 4.
On August 18, Alisa was probably released after serving her sentence, writes the Brest Viasna.
Political prisoner Valer Pankratovich — 1 year, 10 months, and 19 days in prison
Valer was detained on October 5, 2021 as part of a criminal case on insulting Lukashenka. (Article 368 of the Criminal Code). On January 10, 2022, at a trial held in a closed session Valery was found guilty and punished with two years of imprisonment in a general regime colony. He served his sentence in correctional colony No. 2. It is known that in the colony the political prisoner was placed in a cell type accommodation until he completed his sentence.
On August 24, Valer was released.
Political prisoner Maksim Pytsel — 2 years, 8 months, and 11 days in prison
Maksim was detained on December 15, 2020 in the case of blocking railway tracks and hanging effigies in Brest. He was charged under Part 2 of Article 339 of the Criminal Code (Malicious hooliganism). Episodes imputed to Pytsel: hanging a mannequin (a stuffed doll) with the words "riot police"; putting three car wheels on the roadway and setting them on fire. On May 18, 2021, Maksim was sentenced to three years of imprisonment in a general regime colony. The political prisoner served his sentence in correctional colony No. 3 ("Vitba"). According to the Brest Viasna, on August 26, Pytsel was released, having fully served his sentence.
Political prisoner Aliaksei Haloukin — 2 years, 8 months, and 23 days in prison
Aliaksei is an IT engineer. He graduated physics and mathematics school with honors and university with excellent results. As a child, he was diagnosed with a difficult diagnosis: hemophilic polyarthropathy.
The Hrodna resident was sentenced to 3 years in a penal colony under a number of articles of the Criminal Code. In addition, Aliaksei was charged compensation for moral damage to the victims in the amount of more than 4,500 rubles. He walks with difficulties because of joint problems. It is known that the rest of the convicts in the colony were forbidden to help him.
Haloukin served his sentence colony No. 2 in Babrujsk, where he was released from on August 26, former political prisoner Dzmitry Furmanau reported on social media.
Political prisoner Siarhei Mirayeuski — 2 years, 5 months, and 22 days in prison
Siarhei is a resident of Svietlahorsk, who was accused under Part 1 of Article 342 of the Criminal Code (active participation in actions grossly violating public order). Mirayeuski was detained on August 11 and held in custody for three days, after which he was released on his own recognizance until the trial. On December 21, 2020, the Svietlahorsk District Court found Siarhei guilty and punished him with 2.5 years of of restricted freedom in an open-type correctional facility. Since March 2021, the political prisoner has been serving time in open-type correctional facility №43 in Mahileu.
The political prisoner has fully served his time and was released on August 25, the Homel Viasna reports.
Political prisoner Matsvei Hrankevich — 1 year, 9 months, and 5 days in prison
In the Minsk City Court on August 15, 2022, a 21-year-old 4th-year student of the History department of Belarusian State Pedagogical University Matsvei Hrankevich was tried under two articles of the Criminal Code: Part 1 of Article 342 (participation in actions grossly violating public order) and Part 1 of Article 130 (inciting other social hatred). Judge Natallia Buhuk sentenced him to two years and two months in prison. As part of the criminal case, the man was detained right in the dean's office on November 10, 2021 — he was identified by photos from protests. The KGB put him on the "list of terrorists".
He served his sentence in colony No. 2 in Babrujsk.
Political prisoner Uladzimir Lankevich — 2 years, 8 months, and 15 days in prison
The locomotive driver was sentenced to 3 years in prison for attempting to block the movement of railway transport by short circuiting the rails. The investigation and the prosecution believed that this could lead to serious consequences. But Lankevich, a railroad worker himself, said that his actions (and the actions of his associates) could not harm ordinary people.
On August 22, the man was released from the colony, having fully served his sentence.
Political prisoners Yahor Martsinovich and Andrei Skurko — 2 years, 1 month, and 10 days in prison
Recall that on March 15, the Zavodsky District Court of Minsk sentenced the editor-in-chief of Nasha Niva and the head of the marketing and advertising department to two and a half years in prison. They were accused of "causing property damage without signs of theft, committed by a group of persons by prior agreement, on a large scale" (Part 2 of Article 216 of the Criminal Code). Initially, the damage was calculated in the amount of 3,500 rubles. Then this amount grew to 10 thousand. The political prisoners paid off the damage before the trial. "Minskvodakanal" and "Minskenerga" withdrew their claims. Martsinovich was sent to Babrujsk colony No. 2, and Skurko was sent to Mahileu colony No. 15.
On August 18, political prisoners were released from the colonies.
Seven political prisoners were released after the trial
In August, the Belarusian courts in the absolute majority sentenced political prisoners to imprisonment. Only six people were released from jail last month after the trial — they were sentenced to home confinement or to the restriction of freedom in an open-type penal facility. But these data may be incomplete, since not all the results of the trials of political prisoners are yet known to human rights defenders. These are:
Patrytsyia Svitsina — two and a half years of home confinement;
Maryia Kaminskaya — two and a half years of home confinement;
Siarhei Dzeshchyts — two and a half years of home confinement;
Aliaksandr Klimashevich — two and a half years of home confinement;
Dzianis Niadbainik — two and a half years of home confinement.