Political prisoner Zmitser Furmanau held in punishment cell in Vitsebsk colony since August

Political prisoner Zmitser Furmanau has been kept in punitive confinement for over a month, our correspondent reports.

After the verdict was announced, Furmanau was transferred to penal colony Nr 3 in Vitsebsk region (Vitsba-3), but since then, he has not appeared at his unit. The political prisoner arrived at the colony in August; after being in quarantine, he was immediately placed in a disciplinary cell, where he is still being held for unknown reasons.

Zmitser’s relatives who worry about him are asking for support and spreading information about the current situation. On October 8, the father of the political prisoner, Alyaksandr Furmanau, is going to visit the colony.

Hrodna resident Dzmitry (Zmitser) Furmanau was detained on 29 May 2020 during a picket to collect signatures for the nomination of Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya as a candidate for presidency; he was a regional coordinator of the team. On the same day Svyatlana’s husband Syarhei Tsikhanouski and his associates were arrested.

Furmanau was charged under Part 1 Article 342 (‘organisation and preparation of actions that grossly violate public order’) of the Criminal Code and sentenced to two years of imprisonment in a minimum security penal colony. He was awaiting the trial in the Hrodna prison, where he was repeatedly placed in solitary confinement. The Belarusian human rights community recognised Zmitser Furmanau as a political prisoner.

‘He might have been beaten there’. Zmitser Furmanau put in isolation cell, meeting with family cancelled