Tougher confinement conditions for Pavel Sevyarynets

Pavel Sevyarynets at protest rally in Minsk. 21 December 2019. Photo: Iryna Arakhouskaya /

Jailed Belarusian politician Pavel Sevyarynets has been recognised as ‘a prone to attacking the prison administration.

From now on, he will have to be handcuffed during his movements from one prison unit or cell to another.

“Pavel was given another ‘medal’. It is not surprising, they [authorities] might do anything, but it is not funny. During the checks, when one should need to name and article, my undaunted knight usually says ‘illegally convicted Sevyarynets’, for which he might be placed in solitary confinement, but I know he will not stop doing so. And what about us? Today is the 347th day of Pavel’s not being at home,” his wife Volha Sevyarynets said on Facebook.

A few days ago, Volha said that Pavel was declared a ‘person prone to extremism’. Earlier, it became known that imprisoned Belsat TV journalists Darya Chultsova and Katsyaryna Andreyeva were found herself in the same situation. In March, media expert Andrey Alyaksandrau and his girlfriend Iryna Zlobina (the both were put in Minsk pre-trial detention centre Nr 1) were also listed as ‘extremists’.

Minsk: Jailed politician cuts wrist in protest against torture

Being added to the above mentioned list means more severe treatment of an inmate and restricting their rights even in prison, e.g. there is a special place in the cell where such prisoner has to be when a jailkeeper enters; they are also expected to be regularly called in for preventive conversations.

Pavel Sevyarynets , a writer, activist and co-chairman of the Belarusian Christian Democracy party, has been behind bars for over eleven months. He was detained even before the 2020 presidential election – on June 7, when he was returning from a picket to collect signatures. Later, he was charged under Part 1 of Article 293 of the Criminal Code (‘organisation of mass riots’). The investigation into the case against the political prisoner ended only in February. The politician may face from 3 to 8 years of imprisonment.

On May 12, Mahiliou regional court started hearing his case. The trial is being held behind the closed doors.

Mahiliou: Opposition politician, European Belarus activists, bloggers tried in camera