Authorities destroying political prisoner who revealed truth about penitentiary system


Mikhail Zhamchuzhny is currently serving his sentence in the Horki prison and is under pressure from its administration.

Former political prisoner Mikalai Dzyadok firsthand knows, how political prisoners are treated in the penal colony number 9 and how the Horki colony differs from other institutions of this type.

How to put pressure on the political prisoner?

In the past four months, the authorities tried to put Zhamchuzhny on register as a potential extremist, he was recognized as ardent regime offender, drawn to the disciplinary action on formal and contrived violations.

Since the beginning of August, he has been twice placed in a punishment cell, including for failure to join the group of prisoners with the so-called low prison status.

Human rights activists have appealed to the Prosecutor General of Belarus to look into the ill-treatment of Mikhail by the prison administration. They are planning to send the appeal to the international organizations, including the UN Human Rights Committee and the EU representative office in Belarus. However, the case of political prisoner Mikhail Zhamchuzhny is not an exception, thus the penitentiary system in Belarus should be changed completely, says the former judge of the Constitutional Court, Mikhail Pastukhou.

Why is Zhamchuzhny in prison?

The founder of the “New Platform” Mikhail Zhamchuzhny, who was collecting information on the conditions of detention in Belarus, was sentenced to 6 years of imprisonment in July 2015. He was found guilty of inciting to intentional disclosure of information which constitutes an official secret, illegal purchase and sale of special technical equipment intended for secret collection of information, as well as bribery.

Three months later, his prison term was extended for another six months. Human rights activists believe Mikhail Zhamchuzhny is a political prisoner who suffered for his human rights activities.

Vital Babin, “Belsat”

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