Vyachaslau Kasinerau, an activist of the Belarusian anarchist movement, got a short letter from his friend Dzmitry Paliyenka who is serving a sentence in Babruysk penal colony.
Paliyenka complained that he had been placed in a punishment cell, as well as deprived of meetings with his father for three months.
“Dmitry writes that he has recently spent 4 days in a punishment cell due to his refusal to clean the toilet. The prison administration is well aware that other convicts humiliate those who agree to clean it. Such methods are nothing but violation and inhumanity,” Kasinerau told belsat.eu.
He adds that Paliyenka has also been stripped of the right to see his father for three months.
“If a prisoner gets in a punishment cell, this fact is recorded in his personal reference, and then different penalties may be imposed on him. For example, deprivation of meetings with family,” Kasinerau explains.
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.
Belarusian HRC Viasna 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.