Drug convicts’ relatives still on hunger strike, seeking meeting with Lukashenka

Тацяна Канеўская, удзельніца галадоўкі "Маці-328" з Калінкавіч

After the representatives of the Mothers-328 met with Natallya Kachanava, Head of the Presidential Administration, they were invited to the Prosecutor General Alyaksandr Kanyuk.

But later, they were contacted by the Prosecutor’s Office and told that the meeting was ‘postponed, Tatsyana Kaneuskaya, a participant of the hunger strike, told belsat.eu.

“His secretary said that the prosecutor General was on a business trip. The meeting in not being cancelled, just deferred to a later date. They promised to call and invite us when he returned to Minsk,” the woman said.

On April 27, the members of the movement started an indefinite hunger strike, seeking to mitigate the punishment under criminal article 328.

As of April 30, 14 women are on the hunger strike (7 in Kalinkavichy and 7 in Pukhavichy), whose relatives are serving sentences for the use of drugs (article 328 of the Criminal Code).

On May 2, Natallya Kachanova told the women that it was the law enforcement agencies that were against the mitigation. The hunger strikers were seeking a meeting with Alyaksandr Lukashenka, but they were flatly turned down.

The main demand the Mothers-328 movement are putting forward is making amendments into the Criminal Code. They believe that punishment for drug users is disproportionate and too severe, e.g. up to 10 years behind bars for half a gram of some drug.

In early April, Minsk activists held a rally for the decriminalisation of light drugs. There were 14 people demanding changes to article 328 — the abolition of punishment for the use of light drugs. Some participants of the action were fined.


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