Prisoner of conscience Dzmitry Paliyenka walks free
Political prisoner Dzmitry Paliyenka has been released this morning after serving nearly two years in a penal colony in Babrujsk.
Like many political prisoners before him, Paliyenka was released early in the morning and taken to a railway station 50 km away, so that his friends and associates could not meet at him at the prison gate.
On October 12, 2016, the court of Centraĺny district of Minsk found Dzmitry Paliyenka guilty of committing a crime under Article 364 of the Criminal Code (violence or threat of violence against a law enforcement officer) and Part 2 of Article 343 of the Criminal Code (production and distribution of pornographic materials or pornographic items). Paliyenka was sentenced to two years of suspended imprisonment.
On April 7, 2017, the court of Zavodski district of Minsk quashed the suspension and ordered to send the activist to prison.
The human rights community named Dzmitry Paliyenka a political prisoner and called for his immediate release. In August 2017, Amnesty International called Dzmitry Paliyenka a prisoner of conscience and launched a global campaign of solidarity.
After Paliyenka’s release, Belarus has one political prisoner held behind bars, Mikhail Zhamchuzhny.