Fifteen more people recognized political prisoners in Belarus

A new group of political prisoners has been convicted in criminal cases relating to charges of violence against police officers, resistance and hooliganism (Articles 363, 364, 366, 339 of the Criminal Code).

Human rights activists emphasize that “disproportionately harsh actions of the police, aimed at stopping peaceful assemblies, cannot be considered as a legitimate activity to protect and defend public order. And in cases of violence provoked by the police “in response” to the protesters, such actions should be considered on the basis of the severity of the harm caused, as well as the necessary protection against the clearly unlawful actions of law enforcement officers”.

“Violence that was provoked by the disproportionate use of physical force, non-lethals, and if there was no intention to inflict non-symbolic material damage or harm to anyone in the actions of the accused, gives grounds to consider these individuals as political prisoners,” human rights activists note.

In addition, human rights activists point out that the courts give sentences that are disproportionately harsh (inadequate) for the offense of which the individuals are accused, compared to the sentences handed down in the same categories of cases outside the political context.

The Frunzenski district court hears further the criminal case against four Minsk residents Yauhen Barouski, Ivan Zyanko, Alyaksei Drab and Uladzimir Katskel. 30 March 2021. photo: Belsat

Based on these findings, the Belarusian human rights community recognized the following people as political prisoners:

Syarhei Bazuk – (sentenced to one year’s restriction of freedom with referral to an open-type correctional facility under Part 1 Article 339 of the Criminal Code, sent to serve his sentence);

Syarhei Verashchahin – (sentenced to five years of imprisonment under Article 364 of the Criminal Code);

Andrey Tsaronak – (sentenced to four years’ imprisonment under Part 1 and 2 of Art. 339 of the Criminal Code, Art. 364 of the Criminal Code);

Mikhail Yudzin – (sentenced to four years in prison under Art. 364 of the Criminal Code);

Mikhail Yafimovich – (sentenced to two and a half years in prison under Art. 364 of the Criminal Code);

Vadzim Khizhnyakou – (sentenced to two and a half years in prison under Art. 364 of the Criminal Code);Andrei Severtoka – (sentenced to five and a half years in prison under Art 364 of the Criminal Code);

Kanstantsin Palyak – (sentenced to three years of restricted freedom with referral to an open-type correctional institution under Article 364 of the Criminal Code, sent to serve his sentence);

Ivan Zyanko – (sentenced to five years of imprisonment under Art. 218, 364, part 1 of Art. 342 of the Criminal Code);

Alyaksei Drab – (sentenced to five years’ imprisonment under Art. 218, 364, part 1 of Art. 342 of the Criminal Code);

Yauhen Barouski – (sentenced to four years’ imprisonment under Art. 218, 364, Part 1 Art. 342 of the Criminal Code);

Uladzimir Katskel – (convicted to five years’ imprisonment under Art. 218, 364, Part 1 Art. 342 of the Criminal Code);

Yauhen Zashchytau – (sentenced to three years’ imprisonment under Art. 364 of the Criminal Code);

Alyaksandr Sheutsou – (sentenced to two and a half years’ imprisonment under Art. 364 of the Criminal Code);

Alina Voitsekh – (sentenced to two years’ imprisonment under Article 364 of the Criminal Code)

Thus, the number of political prisoners in Belarusian prisons has increased to 337 people.

belsat.eu

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