Letters from Lukashenka’s Prisoners
There are 1400+ political prisoners in Belarus, as of February 2023 and that number continues to rise. The “Letters from Lukashenka’s Prisoners” campaign aims to ensure the unjustly detained are not forgotten and that their voices are still heard from behind bars.
Letters from Lukashenka’s Prisoners: Alena Hnauk
Alena Hnauk is a 65-year-old pensioner and activist from the village of Tkachi in the Pruzhany region of Belarus. She was first sentenced to two years of home confinement for participating in the so-called “dancing protest” on 13 September 2020 in Brest.
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Letters from Lukashenka’s Prisoners: Dzmitry Kubarau
Dzmitry Kubarau is UI/UX designer from Minsk. Known as ‘Dima’ to his friends, he likes tattoos, fashion, and chess. Dzmitry was accused of “calling people to actively participate in mass riots, organising them himself and participating in them” from 9 to 12 August 2020. He was detained on 11 August 2020 and taken to the KGB pre-trial detention centre. That same night, he signed a confession while in the hands of the KGB. At trial, Dzmitry pleaded not guilty and reported the torture that led to his ‘confession.’ On 24 March 2021 he was sentenced to seven years in a penal colony under part 1 of Art. 293 of the Criminal Code (“Organisation of riots”).
Letters from Lukashenka’s Prisoners: Artsiom Mitsuk
Artsiom Mitsuk was part of a Telegram group chat which included a number of pseudonymous members. On 29 September, some of the members agreed to meet in person. Artsiom arrived late and saw a number of representatives of law enforcement agencies but as he was sure he had not broken any laws, he checked in with the group chat to find out what was happening. However, on the group chat, Artsiom noticed a representative of state authorities was sending messages to the other users. Soon after that Artsiom was arrested.
Letters from Lukashenka’s Prisoners: Dzianis Boltuts
Dzianis Boltuts, an anti-fascist and fan of the MTZ-RIPO football club, was detained on 25 September 2020 as a suspect in a rioting case – public gatherings against the Lukashenka regime are oftentimes described as a “riot”. He was later charged under Art. 342 of the Criminal Code, “group actions that grossly violate public order”. At the start of 2021, Boltuts was also charged under Part 2 of Art. 293 of the Criminal Code (participation in riots) and under Art. 364 of the Criminal Code (violence or threat of violence against a police officer). A day after his birthday, Dzianis was sentenced to six years in a medium-security penal colony.
Serbian authorities must support and protect EuroPride 2022
We, the undersigned members and supporters of the network of Human Rights Houses, call on the Serbian authorities to support and protect EuroPride 2022 organisers and participants and ensure their safety in the run-up to and implementation of festivities from 12 – 18 September 2022 in Belgrade.
Letters from Lukashenka’s Prisoners: Ivan Datsyshyn
Ivan Datsyshyn, known to his family and friends as Vanya, is a 21-year-old student of radiophysics and computer technology at the Belarusian State University. On the night of 11 August 2020, two days after the highly disputed presidential election, Ivan witnessed the detentions of protesters on Dzerzhinsky Avenue in Minsk. In an effort to force the authorities to leave and not detain people, he allegedly threw a stone at the police bus.
Letters from Lukashenka’s Prisoners: Siarhei Sakavets
Siarhei Sakavets is a 29-year-old engineer from Minsk, who was detained on 21 September 2021 for having subscribed to the Telegram channel “Real Belarus”, which shares news that is critical of the regime.