Number of political prisoners in Belarus reaches 715

On Thursday evening, 12 new names were added to the list of Belarusian political prisoners, HRC Viasna reports.

From colony to prison: Political prisoner Natallia Hersche facing tougher confinement conditions

Belarusian human rights activists recognised the following persons imprisoned for insulting the president, government officials (police officers), judges and state symbols as political prisoners:

  • Ihar Adamenkau, who got 1.5 years of restriction of liberty in an open correctional institution under Art. 369 of the Criminal Code for insulting an official; sent to serve the sentence;
  • Vadzim Yermalovich, sentenced to 1.5 years of restriction of liberty in an open correctional institution under Art. 369 of the Criminal Code for insulting an official; sent to serve the sentence;
  • Andrey Izotau, sentenced to 2 years of restriction of liberty in an open correctional institution under Art. 369 of the Criminal Code for insulting an official; sent to serve the sentence;
  • Yauhen Kisleyka, sentenced 1.5 years of restriction of liberty in an open correctional institution under Art. 364 of the Criminal Code; sent to serve the sentence;
  • Vadzim Yermashuk, detained on charges of desecrating state symbols and insulting the president (Articles 370, 368 of the Criminal Code);
  • Ihar Pyatran, sentenced to 2 years in a penal colony under Art. 369 and 364 of the Criminal Code for threatening police officers and insulting an official in comments on a social media site;
  • Mikalai Slyoz, imprisoned on charges of painting graffiti (Article 341 of the Criminal Code);
  • Mikita Prystalenka, sentenced to 1 year of restriction of liberty in an open correctional institution under Art. 370 of the Criminal Code; sent to serve the sentence;
  • Vital Zhuk, sentenced to 1.5 years in a penal colony under Art. 368 of the Criminal Code for insulting the president;
  • Syarhei Bankou, sentenced to 3 years of restriction of liberty in an open correctional institution under Art. 369 of the Criminal Code for insulting an official; sent to serve the sentence;
  • Vyachaslau Savichau, sentenced to 1 year in a penal colony under Art. 370 of the Criminal Code;
  • Dzyanis Syarheyeu, sentenced to 1 year and 11 months of restriction of liberty in an open correctional institution under Art. 369 of the Criminal Code for insulting an official; sent to serve the sentence.

Five human rights watchdogs consider their persecution and imprisonment to be politically motivated, as they are related to the peaceful exercise of expression.

The Belarusian human rights community has called on the authorities to immediately release the above mentioned persons as well as other political prisoners; take measures aimed at decriminalising defamatory offenses and abolishing articles of the Criminal Code that provide for liability for insulting the state, state symbols and officials; stop political repression.

As of October 1, there are 715 political prisoners in Belarus.

Husband of political prisoner Palina Sharenda: ‘Inmates are tortured in women’s penal colony in Homiel’

belsat.eu, following spring96.org

News