Minsk: University expels IT student serving 115 days for taking part in protests

Phone photo of Yan Salanovich. Minsk, 12 January 2021. photo: Agata Kwiatkowska / Belsat

21-year-old Yan Salanovich, a student of the Belarusian State University of Informatics and Radioelectronics and a former employee of the KGB scientific and technical centre, faced the expulsion from the Minsk-based higher education institution, his family told TUT.BY.

Yan has been behind bars for nearly three months.

On January 23, they received a letter from the university, the prisoner’s mother Volha says. As Yan Salanovich failed to pass end-of-semester exams, the university authorities decided to take his name off the books. the letter reads.

“I don’t know yet what to do with the information. I think I need to wait for [the release of] Yan. When he is at liberty, he should make up his mind whether he wants to continue studying at this university or not,” Volha stressed.

The young man was detained during a march to Stalin-era mass grave site Kurapaty on November, 1. According to the mother, Yan was just walking along Independence Avenue, he did not have any flags or posters.

At first, he got a 12-day prison term, but even after serving it, Yan was not freed. As his defence lawyer found out, during the first trial the IT student said that he had taken part in protests since the very beginning and listed 15 episodes of his involvement. Later, it appeared that he was tried for each. In total, Yan was sentenced to 115 days of arrest; he is expected to get out of jail in late February.

Human rights watchdogs recognised Yan Salanovich a political prisoner and called on the Belarusian authorities to immediately release him.

Sunday’s protest against terror: Belarusians marching to Kurapaty (photos)