Three criminal cases opened against political prisoner Mikalai Dzyadok

Мikalai Dzyadok. Photo:

The Main Directorate for Combating Organised Crime and Corruption (GUBAZiK) and a group of investigators received evidence of Mikalai Dzyadok’s involvement in a number of crimes, including in the organisation and preparation of actions that grossly violate public order (Article 342 of the Criminal Code), the Investigative Committee reports.

Another criminal case was launched under Art. 361-3. According to the authorities, the defendant also committed ‘actions aimed at harming the national security of Belarus’ on his Telegram channel Mikola which Dzyadok had been administering for several years.

The third case against Dzyadok was instituted over ‘illegal actions with combustible substances (Art. 295-3). When detaining Dzyadok in November 2020, security officers searched his place and found glass bottles containing fuels, which fall under the article of the Criminal Code, the investigators say.

The Belarusian human rights community recognised him as a political prisoner.

Anarchist Dzyadok detained and beaten by police

The journalist and anarchist activist Mikalai Dzyadok was detained on November 12 in the town of Sasnovy, Asipovichy district. In the video published by Belarusian law enforcement agencies, Mikalai Dzyadok looked badly beaten. On the back of the arrest, Mediazona interviewed a man who had a conversation with Dzyadok in the detention centre in Akrestsin Street in Minsk. According to the interviewee, the officers who were detaining Dzyadok tear-gassed the man, threatened with rape, stifled him with pillow, trying to beat the passwords to the system and Telegram channel out of him. The complaint of the activist’s father about torture during detention was not satisfied; the Investigative Committee refused to conduct a probe.

In 2010, Dzyadok was arrested in the case of an ‘attack on the Russian Embassy’ on the night of August 31 in Minsk. In 2011, he was sentenced to 4.5 years of imprisonment in a high security colony. Then he was also declared a prisoner of conscience. Five days before the expiration of the term on February 26, 2015, a Mahiliou court sentenced the activist under Article 411 of the Criminal Code which is ‘willful disobedience to the demands of the administration’ to 1 year of imprisonment in a strict regime colony. He was pardoned on August 22, 2015.

Subsequently, he was repeatedly detained under administrative charges.

Arrested activist Dzyadok tear-gassed, threatened with rape, stifled with pillow