On October 30, 2012 Mazyr court is to try Zmitser Dashkevich’s case at a visiting session. As the Young Front leader is considered a flagrant violator of penitentiary regime he may be transferred to a maximum-security penal colony where conditions of confinement are much worse.
According to his fiancee Nasta Palazhanka, soon after the arrival at Mazyr penal colony No. 2 the political prisoner was put to a punishment cell and later – to a ward-type room. “Another tormenting transit is before him. In my opinion, he will be moved to Hrodna or Zhodzina prison,” she said.
On September 19 Dashkevich was taken to Mazyr penal colony; two days later he went on hunger strike because of “outrageous behaviour of the penal colony administration, including penal colony warden Yury Zbarouski”. According to information presented by human rights organisation Platform, Dashkevich was repeatedly called on the carpet and abused: the colony officers threatened him with rape, murder or dementing. Later the political prisoner’s quit hunger striking because the penal colony administration started treating him a little better. In his opinion, the attitude has changed due to numerous voices raised for his defence, i.e. statements and adresses of human rights defenders, politicians, international community, all indifferent people, and also owing to heavy press coverage.
Zmitser Dashkevich and another activist of the Young Front Eduard Lobau were detained on December 18, 2010. Opposition activists and human rights defenders consider this detention as part of police preventive action performed before the 2010 presidential election. Dashkevich and Lobau were adjudged guilty of especially malignant hooliganism (Article 339, part 3 of the Criminal Code). On March 24, 2011 Zmitser Dashkevich was sentenced to two years of imprisonment in a general regime penal colony. In September, 2011 the activist was offered to file a petition for pardon addressed to Alexander Lukashenka but he rejected this proposal.
He was to go at liberty in December, 2012 but on August 28 Hlybokaye district court in camera acknowledged Dashkevich guilty of“gross disobedience to orders of correctional institution administration”. Four months which Dashkevich was to serve under the first sentence has been included in the new one. Thus, now Zmitser Dashkevich is expected to be released on August 28, 2012.