Political prisoner Uladzimir Nyaronski sentenced to three years in jail

On February 2, Lahoysk district court passed a sentence on Uladzimir Nyaronski, a local activist and author of the YouTube channel Slutsk for Living.

Uladzimir Nyaronski was found guilty of ‘organising and preparing actions that grossly violate public order, or actively participating in them’ (Article 342-1 of the Criminal Code), as well as of publicly insulting Slutsk district executive committee chairman Andrey Yancheuski (Art. 369). Judge Alyaksandr Rybakou sentenced him to three years in prison.

According to the prosecution, the defendant was in ‘conspiracy’ with blogger Syarhei Tsikhanouski and politician Mikalai Statkevich, HRC Viasna reports.

During the trial, Uladzimir Nyaronski qualified the confinement conditions in Belarusian prisons as ‘torture’:

“I spent 252 days in custody, 60 of which – in a solitary cell. During that period, I was taken to shower only 12 times. I experienced 12 transfers, 24 full searches.’

Torture Center. Stories from Belarusian Detention Center

After six months a person gets used to prison, considers it his second home and forgets about freedom at all, the political prisoner stressed.

“It is useless to scare me with prison, I don’t want these trials to continue. I’m not afraid of prison <…> There is currently no heating in the detention centre which I am being held in. We have to shave everything off to protect ourselves from lice. In Akrestsin prison, they [intentionally] put me in a special cell where I was bitten by bedbugs. It [the cell] was for those charged under ‘political’ articles. We are rolling into the abyss, such things cannot be allowed,” the man said.

Uladzimir Nyaronski was detained on May 6, 2020 near Minsk. Two days later, Kastrychnitski District Court of Mahiliou imposed a 10-day arrest on him under Article 23.34 of the Administrative Code. However, the activist was not released after serving the term. In mid June, Uladzimir Nyaronski was reported to be placed in detention centre #1 in Valadarski Street in Minsk as part of the so called Tsikhanouski case. Belarusian human rights recognised him as a political prisoner.

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