Andrey Sannikau, sentenced to 5 years

Ex-presidential candidate, former Deputy Foreign Minister of the Republic of Belarus. Andrey Sannikau was found guilty of mass riot organization on December, 19, 2010. The court sentenced him to five-year imprisonment in a medium-security penal colony.

Andrey Sannikau heads European Belarus civil campaign. In mid 90-s he was appointed Deputy Foreign Minister; he was engaged in disarmament measures. In 1996 Sannikau submitted resignation in protest to president Lukashenka’s policy.

During the peaceful protest action on December 19, 2012 the politician received a severe beating from policemen. The next day he and his wife, journalist Iryna Khalip, were arrested.

According to the wife of the political prisoner, Sannikau informed her that tortures and threats aiming at «making him lodge a petition for pardon» had started in September, 2011. As a result, on November 20, 2011 the ex-presidential candidate presented a petition addressed to Aliaksandr Lukashenka. In December, 2011 the latter promised to release the political prisoners if they pleaded pardon. But the Belarusian president has still had no respect for his own word.

Andrey Sannikau was arrested on December 20, 2010 and sentenced to 5 years of imprisonment in a medium security penal colony. Since then Sannikau has changed penal institutions three times over. Now he is known to be kept in a one-man cell of Vitsba-3 penal colony.

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