Political prisoner Dzmitry Paliyenka put in punishment cell for 7 days

The convicted activist of the Belarusian anarchist movement has been placed in a punishment cell for 7 days.

“I was placed in a punishment cell for 7 days for my having put a bed sheet on my bed and for my alleged refusal to go for a walk,” Paliyenka said in a letter to his friend Vyachaslau Kasinerau.

“Almost every two months Paliyenka is thrown into a punishment cell for so-called violations. They are trying to pressurize him through both official regulations and unwritten prison riules <…> What is happening now is nothing but the pressure on him in prison and on his associates at liberty. His name being mentioned at solidarity rallies is like a stick in the craw for Belarusian authorities. We saw that some people were carrying portraits of Dzmitry at the recent March of Outraged Belarusians,” activist Maryna Nasenka said.

In August, Paliyenka was placed in a punishment cell, as well as deprived of meetings with his father for three months.


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 activist will have to serve 18 months and 13 days. The sentence delivered by judge Alena Kaptsevich cannot be appealed.

Amnesty International considers Dzmitry Paliyenka a political prisoner. In a letter to his friend, the activist said he had to wear a yellow ‘extremist’ tag in prison.