Political prisoners

At the start of April 2014, FIDH identified nine individuals as political prisoners in Belarus. In Belarusian prisons and penal colonies, these political prisoners suffer regular punishments that sharply exacerbate the already difficult conditions of their detention. International organisations, such as the European Union, have called upon Belarus to release all political prisoners and raised concerns about the violation of their rights. The freedom of 32 former political prisoners who were recently released, is also seriously restricted.

Please see the articles below on the situation of political prisoners in Belarus:

Political prisoner Mikalaj Dziadok spent 20 days in punishment cell

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Political prisonerMikalaj Dziadok, who is serving a sentence in Mogilev prison #4, spent 20 days in a punishment cell. Prison administration punished him for violating established for prisoners rule connected with uniforms. The father of the political prisoner Aliaxander Dziadok said about it to Human Rights Defenders.

Just a day after his birthday, August 23, Mikalaj had another sentence – 20 days in punishment cell. In this way was executed Mikalaj Statkevich in Mogilev prison in 2012.

Political prisoner Mikalaj Dziadok was taken into custody from September 3, 2010, and was sentenced on May 27, 2011in the court of Zavadskoj district of Minsk under the Part 2 of Art. 339 of the Criminal Code (disorderly conduct) to 4.5 years of imprisonment in a strict regime...

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Mikalai Statkevich: “They won’t get a clemency petition from me”

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With a few-days’ break, Bialynichy journalist Barys Vyrvich got a letter and a postcard from Belarusian political prisoner Mikalai Statkevich, with whom he maintains a regulard correspondence.

In particular, in the letter Mr. Statkevich expressed his attitude to the liberation of the head of the Human Rights Center “Viasna” Ales Bialiatski and wrote some interesting thoughts about the situation in our country and in the world in general.

“Like you, I am very glad at the release of Ales Bialiatski. I agree with you that my situation is quite different. There is a stalemate – the more they keep me, the more it costs them. On the other hand, the more they are afraid to release me. I will wait to see how it all ends. I know just one thing for sure – they won’t get a “petition” from me...

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Vasil Parfiankou’s father: Solitary confinement and no letters allowed

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The father of political prisoner Vasil Parfiankou spoke about the detention conditions of his son in an interview to Radio Liberty’s Belarus service.

He sent a letter a week ago. He says that our last letter was received back on April 30. So our letters are not delivered to him. Then we sent him newspapers by a registered letter on May 5. He said that he did not receive the registered letter, either. So it goes. He’s in solitary confinement and he sees no one. The watchmen take him to the prison yard to walk for 30 minutes, that’s all his contacts with the world. You can go crazy! Let it be on their conscience”.

Vasil Parfiankou is held in the colony in Horki...

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Political prisoner Mikalai Statkevich gets a meeting with his wife

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Maryna Statkevich had the first short-term meeting with her husband in Mahiliou prison for a year. Mikalai Statkevich is very glad that Ales Bialiatski was released from jail and asks to pass greetings to him.

This was a standard two-hour meeting through the glass and bars. Mikalai is in normal condition both physically and psychologically. I even think that he has become more handsome. After all, he understands exactly what he’s doing and has a clear vision of the situation. He is in harmony with himself. It looks like even his wrinkles get smoother,” said Mrs. Statkevich.

Former presidential candidate Mikalai Statkevich was sentenced to six years in prison for allegedly organizing mass riots in the day of the presidential elections on 19 December 2010...

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Ex-political prisoner Mikalai Autukhovich eventually allowed to come to Minsk for medical treatment

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The police of Vaukavysk finally allowed the former political prisoner to go to the Belarusian capital for a medical examination.

“They at last allowed me to visit Minsk to have a medical examination. This time, I filed another application. I applied for temporary residence in the capital. Police officers gave their permission without problems, though earlier they didn’t want me to visit Minsk for treatment. They wanted to have necessary documents from a state-owned hospital and refused to accept them from a private medical centre. I even filed a complaint, but it gave no results,” he said.

The former political prisoner noted he would go to the dentist and also have a medical examination.

“I don’t know how long I will stay in Minsk. It depends on results of medical tests...

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Political prisoner Vasil Parfiankou: I have more than 20 violations

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Human rights defender Anastasiya Loika has received a letter from political prisoner Vasil Parfiankou, who told her about his latest news.

In his letter to the human rights activist, Vasil Parfiankou, who is serving a sentence in the PKT (cell-type premises) of penal colony No. 9 in Horki, says that recently he was “once again called and asked to sign a commitment to law-abiding behavior and performance of legitimate claims of the administration”. “Once again, I refused, because what are their requirements, when I am here illegally,” says he.

Vasil Parfiankou also says that the only thing that annoys him a little is that because of his “violations” he can face supervision again. “The only question is for how long...

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London welcomes the release of Ales Bialatski and calls to release the rest of the political prisoners

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Britain’s Minister for European Affairs David Lidington welcomes the release of Ales Bialatski and calls upon Belarus authorities to release the rest of the political prisoners, BelaPAN reports.

“I am glad to hear that the Belarusian authorities released Ales Bialatski, the head of the Viasna human rights organization. I am glad that after three years in prison, he has now returned to his family”, – says Lidington’s statement, published on 24 June.

At the same time the British minister “insistently urges Belarusian authorities to release all the remaining political prisoners and fully restore them in their civic and political rights”. “Great Britain will keep putting pressure on the Belarusian government in order for them to improve the human rights situation”, – Lidington ...

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UN Special Rapporteur Miklós Haraszti: Ales Bialiatski released, but other political prisoners remain in jail

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The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Belarus, Miklós Haraszti, welcomed the release from prison of human rights defender Ales Bialiatski, but called for the immediate and unconditional release of all political prisoners and their full rehabilitation.

Bialiatski, founder of the Human Rights Centre Viasna, recipient of various human rights awards and Nobel Peace Prize nominee, was sentenced in November 2011 for tax evasion to four-and-a-half years in prison and confiscation of all his assets.

“In fact, the trumped-up charges against Bialiatski were directly linked to the fact that NGO activity is heavily curtailed by restricting access to funding,” the independent expert said.

Viasna, which has provided legal assistance to Belarusians arrested or imp...

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Former political prisoner Malchanau faces criminal persecution again

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A criminal case for the “desecration the state symbols” has been resumed against former political prisoner Aliaksnadr Malchanau.
“They haven’t explained anything, but I know exactly that the case was closed long ago. I was informed recently that it was resumed. No one questioned me or demanded to geive evidence. None of my friends were called to the Investigation Committee or other agencies,” Aliaksandr Malchanau said.The former political prisoner said a criminal case for the “desecration of the state symbols” had been opened against him after the release from prison for taking part in the post-election protests.

“I was accused of hanging out green-red flags with some slogans...

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Political prisoner Andrei Haidukou released from Vitebsk jail

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Andrei Haidukou was told to collect his belongings at 6 a.m., though prisoners are usually released from jail around 11 a.m. At 7 a.m., Andrei was put into police car and was brought to the Vitebsk station.

Now Andrei is in Vitebsk, and he is about to leave for his home in Navapolatsk. He said on the phone that he considers his criminal case completely fabricated. He also noted that the case was a provocation against his organization.

On 8 November 2012, Andrei Haidukou was detained by KGB officers and put to the KGB investigative isolation facility.

On November 2012, the KGB disseminated the information about the suspension of criminal activity of a Belarusian citizen who was collecting and passing information of political and economic character at the instruction of a foreign secret ser...

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