Zmitser Dashkevich

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Zmitser Dashkevich
Nationality Belarusian
Occupation political activist
Organization Young Front
Known for dissident politics, imprisonment
Spouse(s) Nasta Palazhanka

Zmitser Dashkevich (Belarusian: Зміцер Дашкевіч); born July 20, 1981 in Yelsk Raion, Homiel Voblast) is a Belarusian politician and one of the leaders of the unregistered youth opposition movement Young Front.[1]

In November 2006, Dashkevich was found guilty of "illegal political activity" by a Belarusian court and sentenced to 18 months in prison. Amnesty international (AI) declared him a prisoner of conscience, and the U.S. government condemned the verdict.[2]

In March 2011, he and fellow Young Front activist Eduard Lobau were found guilty of assault one day in advance of a disputed presidential election.[1] The Young Front activists stated that the case against them was politically motivated.[3] Dashkevich was sentenced to two years in prison, and Lobau to four. AI again named the pair prisoners of conscience.[1]

According to AI, Dashkevich was offered a presidential pardon in September 2011 if he would confess his guilt, but he refused.[4] On 18 July 2012, Belarusian authorities announced that a new investigation had been opened against Dashkevich for his "systematic and aggressive refusal to follow the instructions of the penitentiary administration."[1] On 28 August 2012, Dashkevich was found guilty in an in camera trial, and another year was added to his prison sentence.[5] On 30 October, a court ordered Dashkevich's transfer to a maximum security prison. Human Rights Watch reported that he "was being subjected to routine prison abuse, including verbal abuse, arbitrary punishments, and threats of torture, rape, and murder".[6]

As of September 2011, Dashkevich was engaged to another Young Front activist, Nasta Palazhanka.[7] The two married when Palazhanka visited him in Hrodno prison on 26 December 2012. Authorities stated that the couple would be allowed one more two-hour visit before Dashkevich's release, scheduled for August 2013.[8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "New Probe Launched Against Belarusian 'Prisoner Of Conscience'". Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. 18 July 2012. Archived from the original on 31 October 2012. Retrieved 20 July 2012. 
  2. ^ "Belarus Youth Group Members Detained". The Washington Post. Associated Press. 4 February 2007. Archived from the original on 31 October 2012. Retrieved 20 July 2012. 
  3. ^ "Belarusian Activists Jailed For Holding Rally For Colleagues". Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. 23 March 2011. Archived from the original on October 31, 2012. Retrieved 20 July 2012. 
  4. ^ "Youth leader faces longer prison sentence". Amnesty International. 17 July 2012. Archived from the original on 31 October 2012. Retrieved 20 July 2012. 
  5. ^ "Belarusian 'Prisoner Of Conscience' Gets Additional Year In Jail". Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. 28 August 2012. Archived from the original on 28 August 2012. Retrieved 28 August 2012. 
  6. ^ Claire Bigg (30 October 2012). "Belarusian Political Prisoner Dashkevich Sent To Maximum-Security Jail". Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. Archived from the original on 30 October 2012. Retrieved 30 October 2012. 
  7. ^ "'Conditional Release' Demanded For Jailed Belarusian Activist". Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. 12 September 2011. Archived from the original on 31 October 2012. Retrieved 20 July 2012. 
  8. ^ Claire Bigg (28 December 2012). "Belarusian Opposition Activist Ties The Knot In Prison". Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. Archived from the original on 2 January 2013. Retrieved 2 January 2013.