Mazyr: Member of Tsikhanouskaya’s initiative group gets 5-year prison term

Political prisoner Ruslan Parfyonau in court. Photo:

On March 3, a guilty verdict in the case of political prisoner Ruslan Parfyonau was passed in Mazyr district court, human rights centre Viasna reports.

Parfyonau, a member of Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya‘s initiative group, was detained on August, 6. At first, he got ten days of administrative arrest; after serving it, he was arrested as part of a criminal case under Article 293 of the Criminal Code (‘mass riots’).

Notably, state-run TV station ONT aired a news story in which Parfyonau was accused of making so-called ‘hedgehogs’ (spike strips for stopping vehicles). However, a man who appeared in the footage hardly bore any resemblance to the activist.

The announcement of the verdict was set for 10 am, but the people who came to support the political prisoner were barred from entering the courtroom. Later it turned out that Parfyonau was making his last plea at that moment.

The public prosecutor demanded Ruslan Parfyonau be sentenced to 6 years in jail; on Wednesday, judge Anatol Strelchanka has given him a five-year term in a medium security penal colony.

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