Convicted member of Tsikhanouskaya’s initiative group placed in ‘closed’ prison

55-year-old Tatsyana Kaneuskaya has been transferred to a so called closed prison from women’s colony Nr 4 in Homiel, Radio Racyja reports with reference to her family.

The colony authorities failed to reveal the reasons for the transfer to her relatives or defence lawyers, it is still unclear in which prison she has been put – in Mahiliou, Zhodzina, or Hrodna (in those closed prisons there are cells for women). Tatsyana’s sons call the desicion ‘unexpected and incomprehensible’.

The confinement conditions in closed prisons are harsher: prisoners are not allowed to go to work, they are kept in cells, there are restrictions on receiving letters and food parcels as well as having meetings with relatives. Such measures are applied to ‘violators of penal colonies’ internal rules’. It is known that Tatsyana was placed in punitive confinement for 20 days in November.

Better than under Rákosi, worse than under Jaruzelski: What can repressions in Belarus be compared to?

In the summer of 2020, Tatsyana Kaneuskaya was a member of Belarusian presidential candidate Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya’s initiative group in Homiel. On August 8, the woman was arrested.

On 4 May 2021, Chyhunachny district court announced guilty verdicts in the case of Yury Ulasau, Dzmitry Ivashkou, Alyaksandr Shabalin, Tatsyana Kaneuskaya. They were charged with ‘participating in riots’ (Part 2 of Article 293 of the Criminal Code) and ‘plans to seize office buildings’ (Art. 292), Ulasau was also accused of ‘insulting a public officer’ (Art. 359). Tatsyana Kaneuskaya was sentenced to six years of imprisonment in a minimum security penal colony.

Kaneuskaya has four sons, including a minor. Last spring one of them, Dzmitry, got 3 years in prison for a negative comment about the Belarusian police on one of Telegram channels. At the end of 2021, another son, Alyaksei, was sentenced to 30 days of administrative arrest for appearing in court as a witness in a mask with the the inscriptionHonest People’. The Belarusian authorities considered it to be a ‘picket’.

Up to 6.5 years in prison: Harsh sentences imposed on Tsikhanouskaya’s election agents in Homiel