Former political prisoner Parfiankou sentenced to six months in prison
On 29 May 2012 former Belarusian political prisoner Vasil Parfiankou was found guilty of violating the terms of preventive supervision, and sentenced to six months’ imprisonment.
Wednesday, 06 June 2012, by Belarusian HRH based on spring96.org
In February 2011 Parfiankou had been sentenced to four years in prison for taking part in protests against electoral fraud during the presidential elections. In August of the same year he was granted pardon and released by the president’s decree. After participating in the rally of solidarity with political prisoners on 19 December 2011, he was arrested again and sentenced to a 12-day term in jail.
When released, on 5 January 2012 he was put under a one-year preventive supervision, which, according to the Belarusian Criminal Code, ordains the supervised to inform the supervising authority in case he/she changes place of work or residence, and take short trips outside the city of residence only with the consent of the supervising authority. The court might also rule that the supervised should not visit certain places; observe the curfew and stay at home at certain times of the day, and visit the supervising authority up to four times a month for registration. The police control whether the supervised follows the regime.
The prosecutor stated that Vasil Parfiankou had violated the regime of preventive supervision thrice. The first time was when the former political prisoner was late for registration at a supervising authority. Besides, Parfiankou was absent from home twice when the police visited him – he was out shopping. On 19 April the activist was informed that a criminal case under article 421 of the Belarusian Criminal Code had been initiated against him.
Parfiankou was not taken into custody immediately on announcement of the court verdict. If he does not appeal against the verdict, the penalty will take effect in ten days.
It is important to note that Parfiankou's case was considered by the infamous judge Siarhei Bandarenka, who on 24 November 2011 sentenced Ales Bialiatski, Chairman of the Human Rights Center "Viasna", to 4.5 years in prison.
Human rights center "Viasna" demands termination of criminal proceedings against Parfiankou
The human rights center "Viasna" considers prosecution of Vasil Parfiankou to be a politically motivated attempt aimed at stopping his civic activism, as well as at intimidating other political and civic activists on the eve of the parliamentary election, which is to be announced soon.
The latter trend is becoming evident: Parfiankou is not the only ex-political prisoner put under preventive supervision. Similar preventive restrictions have recently been imposed on two other former political prisoners - Uladzimir Yaromenak and Pavel Vinahradau.
The Human Rights Center “Viasna” views the sentencing of Vasil Parfiankou as a politically motivated decision, and will consider the activist a political prisoner from the moment when his imprisonment starts.
The Human Rights Center “Viasna” strongly urges to:
- Immediately and unconditionally release all political prisoners from detention facilities;
- Terminate criminal proceedings against Vasil Parfiankou;
- Remove from official records the conviction of the persons sentenced as a result of the 19 December 2010 events, which will be viewed as a step towards their rehabilitation and will enable the individuals to resume their civil and political activities.
Belarusian HRH based on spring96.org