Picks of the week
The country’s prisons continue to hold two political prisoners.
Viasna learned that Mikhail Zhamchuzhny, former co-founder of the Platform Innovation human rights NGO, who is serving his 6.5-year sentence in a penal colony in Horki, has been penalized by two more months of detention in so-called ‘cell-type premises’ (punishment cell with certain restrictions). In addition, Zhamchuzhny was not allowed to serve the rest of his sentence in a different colony, which could help him avoid the immense pressure he has been lately subjected to by both the prison administration and other inmates.
The other political prisoner, Dzmitry Paliyenka, has returned back to the Babrujsk penal colony, after receiving treatment for his injured leg in a prison hospital in Žodzina. Paliyenka, who is serving two-year sentence on trumped-up charges, has not received any medical assistance for about seven months. His father says that the prisoner could have been injured while performing forced labor or during a prison fight. Dzmitry Paliyenka himself said nothing about the origin of the injury.
On April 26, opposition activists across Belarus arranged a number of events to mark the 32nd anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. The annual march in Minsk, which is known as Čarnobyĺski Šliach, was attended by some 430 protesters. No arrests were reported by Viasna’s monitors.