Filip Kaczmarek sent a letter to Yauhen Vaskovich and asked the Belarusian Red Cross to sort out the situation the young man is facing now.
Yauhen Vaskovich, an imprisoned member of Belarusian Christian Democracy (BCD), has spent 247 days in a disciplinary cell since October 2011. ‘Spending even several days in a punishment cell is very dangerous for a human being and might lead to deadly repercussions. I believe that keeping Yauhen in a disciplinary cell is torture aiming at making him sign a petition for pardon,’ the MEP wrote in his address to the Red Cross.
‘I am bowing my head to your courage and inflexible will in fight for your principles. I would like you to know that Europeans of good will, including me, struggle for freedom, democracy and human rights in Belarus,’ Filip Kaczmarek wrote to Mr Vaskovich.
‘Hold on and don’t make surrender of your principles. We are with you! Long live Belarus!’ the Head of The European Parliament delegation for relations with Belarus stressed.
On May 18, 2011 Babruysk court sentenced activists Yauhen Vaskovich, Pavel Syramolatau and Artsiom Prakapenka to different terms of imprisonment (up to 7 years). Based on articles 218(3) and 339(2) of the Belarusian Criminal Code, the three men were charged with ‘intended acts of vandalism’ and ‘purposeful acts causing major damage’. They were adjudged guilty in arsoning the local building of the KGB. No one was hurt in the incident.
Public prosecutor Toustsik demanded the activists be sentenced to 7.5-8 years of imprisonment in a medium security penal colony. According to her, ‘the attack on the KGB was nothing else but a spit in the eye of society and the demonstration of impunity’. The Belarusian state-owned television pictured the activists as unprincipled persons who are ready to crush everything on their path.
In their turn, the defense lawyers stressed that their defendants had given evidence under compulsion. They stated that the young men had no intention to burn the building aiming only at endamagement. According to the lawyers, Vaskovich, Syramolatau and Prakapenka wanted to respond to secret services’ inequitable acts towards democracy and civil activists.