A Belarusian court upheld the 10-year prison sentence handed down last year to Ales Bialiatsky, the only winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in the country’s history.
Ales BialiatskyPhoto: Vitaly Pivovarchik / Associated Press / Profimedia Images
The decision was handed down by the Leninsky Court of Minsk, where the judges ordered Bialtsky to serve his sentence in a high-security penal colony. Tasse.
“On the basis of the total offences, with partial addition of the sentences imposed with additional penalties, the sentence for Bialitki was finally determined in the form of 10 years imprisonment. Reformatory colony under a regime of integrated protection”, the court declared.
Two other men charged with him in the case, Valentin Stefanovici and Vladimir Labkovicci, were sentenced to nine and seven years in a penal colony, respectively.
Dmitry Solovyov, who is outside Belarus, was tried under a special procedure and sentenced to eight years in prison.
The decision can be appealed within 10 days.
Prosecutors accused Bialitski and collaborators of the Vyasna NGO he founded with receiving money from accounts abroad in various “structures and funds” in Lithuania between April 4, 2016 and July 14, 2021. Then “in an organized group” would cross the Belarusian border.
In addition to this “trafficking” charge, Belarusian investigators also say the men may have used the money to finance “collective activities that seriously affect public order.”
Who is Ales Bialitsky?
He was one of the founders of the democracy movement that emerged in Belarus in the mid-1980s. He devoted his life to the promotion of democracy and peaceful development in his native country.
Among other things, he founded the Vyasna (Spring) organization in 1996 in response to controversial constitutional amendments that gave the president dictatorial powers and sparked large-scale demonstrations.
Vyasna supported the jailed protestors and their families. In the years that followed, Vyasna grew into a broad-based human rights organization that documented and protested the authorities’ use of torture against political prisoners.
At the end of January last year, Belarusian authorities declared all products produced by the organization “extremist”.
Ales Bialitsky is one of the 3 recipients of the 2022 Nobel Peace Prize, the prize will be awarded to him by the Russian organization “Memorial” and the Center for Civil Rights in Ukraine.
Bialitsky is the only Belarusian in history to win the Nobel Peace Prize. Two other Belarusians, writer Svetlana Alekseevich and researcher Zorez Alferov, won the Nobel Prize in Literature and Physics, respectively.
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