Dzmitry Paliyenka, a civic activist and prisoner of conscience, has been released from Babruysk penal colony Nr 2 on Wednesday evening. His friends and family are meeting him at Minsk railway station.
(UPD) According to Paliyenka, he has been repeatedly put in a punishment cell in the penal colony; the prison administration exerted psychological pressure on him, they forced him to wear have a yellow tag on his clothing, which was to indicate his alleged propensity for ‘destructive activities’.
Moreover, to provoke a conflict, jailers made Paliyenka share a cell with Stas Hancharou, a former fighter of volunteer battalion Azov, who was convicted for hooliganism and inciting racial hatred. But neither anarchist Paliyenka nor Hancharou who is notorious for his-Nazi sentiment, took the bait, he told journalists.
He is committed to back on the rails and take part in social and political life.
In April 2016, about 35 cyclists gathered in downtown Minsk to take part in the Critical Mass cycling event, an action that was aimed at ‘reclaiming the streets’, i.e. asserting their rights. Although the event was observed by a representative of the Belarusian Helsinki Committee, the riot police brutally detained several activists, including Paliyenka.
Paliyenka was charged with using violence against a police officer (Article 364 of the Criminal Code). In late August he was accused of… porno-peddling. The court found the activist guilty under the both arlicles: in October, 2016 he was sentenced to two years of impisonment with a two-year reprieve.
A court in Minsk revoked the suspension over alleged violations of related restrictions. Taking into account the time spent in pretrial detention, the judge decided that the activist would spend 18 months and 13 days in prison.
Paliyenka was repeatedly placed in a punishment cell for some minor violations. The political prisoner believes that the ground is being prepared for opening another criminal case against him (wilful standing in contempt of the prison administration).
Amnesty International considers Dzmitry Paliyenka a political prisoner and urges Belarusian authorities to immediately and unconditionally release him.