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At least 47 political prisoners released in April having served their sentences

2024 2024-05-07T11:51:06+0300 2024-05-07T11:51:06+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

At the moment, there are 1,385 political prisoners in Belarus, and their number is increasing almost weekly. At the same time, every month several dozen political prisoners leave their places of detention either after the expiration of the term, or after the trial before being sent to an open-type correctional institution or at the beginning of their home confinement. According to Viasna, at least 47 people were released in April, who have fully served their sentences. Four more people were sentenced to home confinement and released from a pre-trial detention facility. Viasna recounts their cases and terms in the monthly digest. 

It should be noted that the number of political prisoners released after serving their sentence may be higher due to the lack of reliable information about their release. If you know that a person convicted for political reasons is already out of prison, please inform human rights defenders via Telegram: @Viasnainfo.

Political prisoner Aksana Zaretskaya — 1 year, 3 months, and 14 days of imprisonment  

Aksana is a member of the Coordination Council. She is a cultural scientist, holds a master’s degree in pedagogy, and works as a etiquette and business communications coach. She has two children.

The political prisoner was sentenced to a year and a half in a penal colony. She was accused of participating in protest actions under Article 342 of the Criminal Code (active participation in group actions that grossly violate public order). She served her sentence in Homieĺ women's penal colony No. 4. In early April, the woman was released.

Political prisoner Ina Mozhchanka — 2 years, 6 months, and 22 days of imprisonment

Іна Можчанка

Recall that on September 6, 2022, the Brest Regional Court sentenced the former BelTAda employee to three years in a penal colony. She was charged under Part 1 of Article 130 of the Criminal Code "inciting social hatred or hostility" and Article 369 of the Criminal Code "insulting a representative of the government" for comments on the Internet after the deaths of KGB officer Dzmitry Fedasiuk and IT specialist Andrei Zeltser.

She served her sentence in Homieĺ women's penal colony No. 4.

Political prisoners Siarhei Salokha and Raman Sidziuk — more than 3 years of imprisonment 

Siarhei Salokha

Siarhei and Raman are residents of Brest and defendants in the case of "mass riots" in the city on August 10, 2020 (Part 2 of Article 293 of the Criminal Code). Salokha was sentenced to four years of imprisonment and Sidziuk to three and a half years.

Political prisoners Yahor and Vital Prakapchuk — 3 years, 7 months, and 17 days of imprisonment

Yahor Prakapchuk

Yahor, along with his father Vital, was detained on August 19, 2020 for participating in mass protests in Brest. They were charged under Part 2 of Article 293 of the Criminal Code (participation in mass riots). In March 2021, the son and father were sentenced to four years in a penal colony.

Yahor was sent to serve time in Ivatsevičy colony No. 22, and Vital was sent to Viciebsk colony No. 3.

Political prisoners Eduard Kudyniuk and Aliaksandr Viniarski — 2 years, 10 months, and 14 days of imprisonment

Brest residents were convicted for "participating in mass riots " in Brest on August 10. They were sentenced in the Lieninski Court of Brest on May 21, 2021. Eduard and Aliaksandr were sentenced to three years in a juvenile colony and handcuffed in the courtroom. They served their time in Babrujsk juvenile colony No. 2.

Political prisoner Vadzim Hurman — 3 years, 7 months, and 28 days of imprisonment 

Вадзім Гурман, фота

In February 2021, Vadzim Hurman was sentenced to three and a half years in a penal colony by the Maladzečna District Court. According to the charges, on August 9, 2020, Vadzim actively participated in an unauthorized mass event and did not obey the employees of the internal affairs bodies. The political prisoner served his term in Horki colony No. 9, where he was constantly put under pressure by the administration of the facility.

Political prisoner Dzmitry Tur — 3 years, 1 month, and 28 days of imprisonment

Dzmitry is a defendant in a criminal case on participation in mass protests in Brest (Part 2 of Article 293 of the Criminal Code).

In August 2021, the Lieninski District Court of Brest sentenced him to three and a half years in a penal colony. The political prisoner served his term in Ivacevičy colony No. 22. Having fully served his sentence, Dzmitry was released on April 8.

Political prisoner Andrei Dzmitryieu — 1 year, 3 months, and 9 days of imprisonment

Андрэй Дзмітрыеў у судзе

On April 20, former Belarusian presidential candidate Andrei Dzmitryieu was released from Viciebsk colony No. 3.

According to Svaboda, Andrei is very pleased that his term is over. He feels fine and "sends greetings to all friends and acquaintances who worried about him."

Dzmitryieu has so far refused to give comments. He only said that "he does not yet believe that he is already free."

Political prisoner Artur Smaliakou — 1 year, 9 months, and 3 days of imprisonment

Artur was detained in July 2022. At first, he was sentenced to 15 days of administrative arrest, and then re-detained within a criminal case under Part 1 of Article 342 of the Criminal Code (active participation in group actions grossly violating public order).

On October 31, 2022, the Сourt of the Frunzenski District of Minsk sentenced the members of the United Civil Party: Artur and Dziyana Charnushyna to two years in a penal colony, and Andrus Asmolauski to three years in a penal colony. All of them were accused of participating in the March of the New Belarus on August 23, 2020.

On January 20, the Minsk City Court upheld the verdict, and the appeals were denied. Artur served his term in penal colony No. 3 in Viciebsk.

Four political prisoners were released after the trial

Фёдар Шведаў. Фота: Белта
Fiodar Shvedau. Photo: Belta

In April, the Belarusian courts overwhelmingly sentenced political prisoners to imprisonment. Only four people were released from pre-trial detention facilities after the trials, being sentenced to restricted freedom in home confinement. Among them:

But these data may be incomplete, since not all the results of the trials of political prisoners are yet known to human rights defenders.

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