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Review of the news on political prisoners from September 12 to 19

2023 2023-09-20T14:13:21+0300 2023-09-20T14:14:07+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

For more than three years, the security forces have been continuously carrying out mass repressions in Belarus. The number of political prisoners is increasing almost weekly in the country, and human rights defenders receive information every day about the detention of prisoners in terrible conditions, about pressure on them from the administration of institutions, as well as about the deterioration of the health of political prisoners in custody. Viasna reports the latest news on political prisoners in a weekly review.

At the moment, there are 1506 people on the list of political prisoners. Last week it became known that Aliaksandr Hladkikh, Katsiaryna Batura, Siarhei Monich, Siarhei Samul, Pavel Laryn, Ryhor Paramonau, Yauhen Pak, Ihar Ukhaliuk had served their sentences and were released.

Over the past weeks, it became known about the sentences in politically motivated cases of five political prisoners: 

Political prisoner Andrei Sacheuka was transferred to Mahileu prison 

Recall that on September 19, 2022, Andrei Sacheuka was sentenced to six years of imprisonment in a medium-security colony, found guilty under Part 1 of Article 130 and Part 1 of Article 293 of the Criminal Code.

Earlier, MAYDAY TEAM reported that in early August, Andrei was sent to a punishment cell (“PKT”) for two months. Prior to that, Andrei was held for 23 days in a punitive confinement cell ("SHIZO"). Even then he was informed that he would be sent to a punishment cell for "incorrect views".

On August 24, a trial was held in Babruisk to change the type of detention for a political prisoner. Judge Anton Dudal decided to transfer the political prisoner to a prison.

It has now become known that the other day Andrei was transferred to Mahileu prison No. 4.

Political prisoner journalist Aliaksandr Mantsevich will be tried on September 27 

65-year-old Aliaksandr is the editor-in-chief of Rehijanaĺnaja Hazieta, the leading independent media of Maladzechna and the region. He is a multiple winner of journalist competitions and awards for high standards of work.

Aliaksandr was detained on March 15 after a search in his house. Mantsevich is accused under Article 369-1 of the Criminal Code (discrediting the Republic of Belarus). According to the materials of the criminal case, Aliaksandr, being the head of the newspaper's editorial office, together with other persons, from January 1, 2020 to March 15, 2023, spread deliberately false information in the print edition and its Internet resources discrediting Belarus and its authorities.

His trial will begin in Maladzechna on September 27. The case will be considered by judge Aliaksei Irshyn.

Political prisoner Uladzimir Hundar was placed in a punitive confinement cell

On June 6, the Hrodna Regional Court upheld the verdict of the political prisoner unchanged: 20 years in a penal colony. The very next day, he was immediately transferred from the punitive confinement cell to the colony. At the same time, Hundar's wife was allowed to have a meeting with him, but she did not manage to come to him on time due to the quick transfer of the prisoner.

Upon arrival in the colony, he was placed in a punishment cell several times. According to the Berest Viasna, the last time he called his family from the colony on August 3, and since then there have been no calls or letters.

Now it is reported that he is in a punishment cell. He was probably placed there on August 3.

The creator of the Youtube channel MozgON Uladzimir Tsyhanovich was transferred to a colony in Vaukavysk  

Uladzimir Tsyhanovich

Uladzimir is a blogger and creator of the MozgON YouTube channel. On his channel, he at first reported economic and social, and then political news; he began broadcasting various street actions, not only Tsikhanouski pickets.

In the court of the Leninski district of Mahileu on April 10, the blogger was convicted under Part 2 of Article 411 of the Criminal Code (malicious disobedience to the requirements of the penal colony administration). Judge Tatsiana Kastsiuk appointed the political prisoner another year in prison in addition to 15 years of imprisonment in the Tsikhanouski case.

It became known that the political prisoner began serving time in Vaukavysk colony No. 11.

"A sack of damaged apples from an unknown "well-wisher". The husband of Palina Sharenda-Panasiuk found out why she does not receive care packages

"Polina was visited by a lawyer, and she told him about the last care package she got. It was September 1. The prison begins to accept care packages at 8.30, and already at 9.00 a sack with apples was brought to her cell. The last name was indicated, which she did not know. The apples were damaged, as if collected near some road.

The sack was old, made of sackcloth. Potatoes are usually stored in such sacks. And the weight is exactly 30 kilograms. Just as much as the relatives are allowed to transfer to the prisoner per month. Palina refused those apples, and they were thrown into the trash. Formally, in September, she can no longer expect care packages, since the limit has been exhausted," Andrei Sharenda told Svaboda.

The husband of the political prisoner believes that this gift from an unknown "well-wisher" is a special operation to deprive his wife of the food transfers she needs after a long hunger strike.

Political prisoner Ryhor Kastuseu was sent back to a punitive confinement cell

This was announced on Facebook by the son-in-law of the chairman of the Belarusian National Front Party Dzmitryi Antonchyk.

"The regime is killing Ryhor Kastuseu. For the fourth time, he was sent to a punitive confinement cell for 10 days...", he wrote.

Recall that Kastuseu was sentenced to 10 years in a penal colony. In confinement, Ryhor's health problems worsened: he was diagnosed with cancer.

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