Belarus: Civil activist Zmitser Dashkevich sentenced to one more year in jail
|Publisher||International Federation for Human Rights|
|Publication Date||31 August 2012|
|Cite as||International Federation for Human Rights, Belarus: Civil activist Zmitser Dashkevich sentenced to one more year in jail, 31 August 2012, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/5045fe91c.html [accessed 22 May 2013]|
|Disclaimer||This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.|
Last Update 31 August 2012
Paris-Minsk, 31 August 2012. FIDH and its member organisation in Belarus Human Rights Center "Viasna" condemn the one year prison sentence imposed on 28 August on Zmitser Dashkevich, leader of the civil and political organization Young Front, for "repeated failure to obey prison authorities".
Civil activist Zmitser Dashkevich sentenced to one more year in jail
Zmitser Dashkevich was initially sentenced on 24 March 2011 to 2 years imprisonment on charges of "malicious hooliganism" allegedly committed ahead of the latest presidential election of December 2010. Since his arrest and detention, he was transferred six times to various detention facilities and penal colonies. Over the last months, he has been purging his sentence in high-security colony No.13 in Hlybokaye (Vitsebsk region). He was expected to be released on December 18, 2012. With this new sentence, Mr. Dashkevich is likely remain imprisoned until 28 August, 2013.
During his imprisonment, Mr. Dashkevich has been repeatedly subjected to physical and psychological pressure in the penal facilities where he was held. He has also been repeatedly placed in a punishment cell for long periods and threatened with death. His right to meet his family has been arbitrarily restricted.
"Adding new sentences to the previous and not yet completed ones might constitute a further step in the repressive arsenal in Belarus", stated Ms. Souhayr Belhassen, FIDH President. "The harassment inflicted upon him is politically motivated and contravenes Belarus' human rights obligations, in particular the prohibition of cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment".
"We are seriously concerned about Mr. Dashkevich's health and the conditions of his detention, added Valentin Stefanovic, Vice-President of Viasna.
FIDH and Viasna urge the Belarusian authorities to put an end to any kind of harassment against Mr. Dashkevich and to immediately and unconditionally release him, as well as all political prisoners in Belarus.