Andrei Alyaksandrau and Iryna Zlobina recognized as political prisoners

Belarusian human rights organizations issued a joint statement demanding the immediate release of Andrei Alyaksandrau and Iryna Zlobina. The detainees are called political prisoners by human rights activists, reports the human rights center “Viasna”.

According to the Interior Ministry, Andrei Alyaksandrau allegedly paid 250 fines between August 22 and November 9. Lists and money to pay the fines were handed over to Alyaksandrau by the fund “BY_Help”. In this connection the police charged Andrei Alyaksandrau and Iryna Zlobina under part 2 of article 342 of the Criminal Code (“Training or other preparation of persons for participation in group actions that grossly violate the public order as well as financing and other support of such activities”).

Human rights defenders believe that gathering voluntary donations from citizens and helping to pay fines to persons who have been held administratively liable only for the fact of participation in peaceful assemblies and realization of the rights guaranteed by the Constitution of Belarus and international norms of human rights, freedom of peaceful assemblies and expression, have nothing in common with financing of any illegal activity and, accordingly, are not a crime. Therefore, the persecution of Alyaksandrau and Zlobina by the authorities is politically motivated, aimed at stopping their activities to help the victims of political repressions, which is why they are recognized by human rights defenders as political prisoners.