Complete isolation: Mikhail Zhamchuzhny under unprecedented mail restrictions

2018 2018-05-17T16:28:42+0300 2018-05-17T16:28:41+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
Mikhail Zhamchuzhny in court

Mikhail Zhamchuzhny in court

For over a month, political prisoner Mikhail Zhamchuzhny has been unable to receive or send letters, according to a reliable source.

The prisoner last received a letter on April 10. The message was mailed on October 10, 2017. No letters from friends or colleagues have been allowed since then, despite the fact that the prison rules do not prohibit receiving or sending mail when serving penalties in so-called cell-type premises.

The prisoner has sent a complaint to the Prosecutor's Office of the Mahilioŭ region. However, the authority has not yet reported on the results of the probe.

Responding to the illegal restrictions, on May 7 human rights activist Tatsiana Reviaka filed a complaint with the head of penal colony No. 9, saying that on April 10 and 13 Mikhail Zhamchuzhny sent two letters to her address, but she did not receive the mail, and the prisoner was not notified of any decisions ordering the destruction of the letters.

In July 2015, Mikhail Zhamchuzhny, founder of the Platform Innovation human rights NGO, was sentenced by the Viciebsk Regional Court to 6 years of imprisonment in a penal colony. On October 23, the Supreme Court examined the activist’s appeal and ordered a more severe punishment, six and a half years in prison.

He was found guilty of committing crimes under Art. 376 (parts 1 and 2), Part 5 Art. 16, Art. 375 (Part 1) and Art. 431 (Parts 1 & 2) of the Criminal Code: inciting deliberate disclosure of information constituting a service secret; illegally purchasing and selling special technical means for secret information, including repeatedly; bribery and repeated bribery.

Belarusian human rights activists say that Mikhail Zhamchuzhny is a political prisoner.