Blogger, former political prisoner Pavel Vinahradau at liberty

Pavel Vinahradau and his wife Svyatlana. Photo:

Pavel Vinahradau’s wife Svyatlana wrote about his release on Facebook on Sunday.

“After the lapse of 72 hours, the investigator came and said they were releasing him. He will have to appear [at a police station] immediately upon being summoned. Now his post is being examined, we are waiting for the findings,” she told Belsat.

On August 19, Pavel Vinahradau, an author of one of Belsat TV satirical shows and former political prisoner, was ‘re-detained’ for 72 hours.

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On July 5, the police made an unexpected visit to Pavel Vinahradau’s house in the town of Berazino and carried out an ‘indoor inspection’, i.e. search. On the same day, the blogger was detained and tried under Article 24.23 of the Code of Administrative Offences (‘violating rules of holding or organising mass events’) over alleged ‘calls for protesting’. A flimsy excuse for the detention was Pavel’s publishing a sarcastic text on social media in which he criticized emigre politician Pavel Latushka for his urging Belarusians to take to the streets on May 9, when Victory Day was celebrated in Belarus. Notably, Vinahradau did not call on anyone to join the protests; his post is indicative of his being against putting protesters in jeopardy.

In early July, Pavel Vinahradau was sentenced to 15 days in jail; after serving the term, he got another 30.

The investigators also told his wife that a criminal case was instituted against Pavel under Article 367-1 of the Criminal Code ( ‘slander against the president’). The case is apparently related to the above-mentioned post.

More than 630 political prisoners in Belarus. Seven new names on list