Political prisoner Malchanau freed


On July 13, 2013 opposition activist Aliaksandr Malchanau was released from a prison in the village of Navasady in Barysau district (Minsk region) on completion of his 18-month term.

“While in prison I was engaged in education and qualified as a general machine operator,” he told reporters. “Now I am going to study and work. In any case, I am not going to give up my convictions and social activities.”

“The prison conditions always leave much to be desired, but I cannot say they are particularly terrible,” Mr Malchanau said in an interview with news agency BelaPAN. “Naturally, there are unsanitary conditions there. Naturally, the food is crappy.”

According to him, he did not feel any special pressure from the administration of the institution. “However, they aimed to make me a persistent violator of rules to have grounds to place me under police supervision afterwards,” he said. “They did that. They pinned the necessary number of violations on me, but they did not go all out. I cannot say I frequented disciplinary cells. I got there only once, for five days.”

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Sentenced to three years of imprisonment for participation in actions that seriously disrupt civil order on the day of the 2010 presidential elections and later pardoned, the 23-year-old oppositionist had to returned to prison again: he was convicted for stealing scrap metal from an abandoned factory.

After his arrest in December, 2010 the oppositionist lost his job and was excluded from the institute. According to his relatives, Aliaksandr stood no chance of being employed: he was repeatedly turned down while looking for a job.

To make both ends meet and help ill parents Malchanau started collecting scrap metal. On April 10, 2012 he stood trial charged with stealing scrap amounting to $9 from the abandoned factory. The oppositionist was sentenced to 1.5 years of imprisonment in a medium-security penal colony. Aliaksandr Malchanau stressed that policemen had been writing off this industrial facility before his arrest. In his opinion,it is the way that the Belarusian security forces have revenged on him.

The administration of the detention center in Zhodzina did not allow Mr Malchanau to attend the funeral of his mother, who died in June 2012.

Belsat, following BelaPAN

www.belsat.eu/en

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