Mikita Likhavid: another term for Ploshcha?

Police demand that the former political prisoner should turn up to the detention centre in Akrestsina Street and serve 10 days out for his participation in post-electoral peaceful protests in Independence Square (“Ploshcha”) on … December 19, 2010.

As the activist did suffer his sentence in prison he regards the decision as illegal and groundless. According to the letter of the law, one cannot be punished twice for the same violation.

There is a legal loophole in Belarus: the administrative arrest is not counted toward the prison term, because either is a punishment for a different act, lawyer Pavel Sapelka said. The former is prescribed for participating in an unsanctioned mass event, the latter penalizes rioting. The question at issue is whether Likhavid was legally convicted in both cases. “And here we have two negative answers,” Mr Sapelka stresses.

Mikita Likhavid, a 20-year old activist of opposition movement For Freedom, was initially sentenced to 15 days of administrative arrest. However, on December 28, 2010 he was charged under the Criminal Code with instigating mass riots and participating in them.

In March, 2011 he was sentenced to 3.5 years of imprisonment in a maximum-security prison. For his steadfast demeanor in Navapolatsk penal colony he was repeatedly sent to a solitary confinement cell: the young man refused to respond to the compellation “convicted Likhavid!” at the roll-call; he said “wrongfully convicted” instead.

Mikita Likhavid was released on September 14, 2011.


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