|Known for||dissident politics, imprisonment|
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.
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.
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. The Young Front activists stated that the case against them was politically motivated. Dashkevich was sentenced to two years in prison, and Lobau to four. AI again named the pair prisoners of conscience.
According to AI, Dashkevich was offered a presidential pardon in September 2011 if he would confess his guilt, but he refused. 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." On 28 August 2012, Dashkevich was found guilty in an in camera trial, and another year was added to his prison sentence. 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".
As of September 2011, Dashkevich was engaged to another Young Front activist, Nasta Palazhanka. 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.
He was released on August 28, 2013, after having completed his sentence. On November 12, 2013, Dashkevich stated that he would prefer "dictator Lukashenka" as President of Belarus for life to an openly gay president (http://www.news.gayby.net/news/2013-11-12-7934).[permanent dead link]
- "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.
- "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.
- "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.
- "Youth leader faces longer prison sentence". Amnesty International. 17 July 2012. Archived from the original on 31 October 2012. Retrieved 20 July 2012.
- "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.
- Claire Bigg (30 October 2012). "Belarusian Political Prisoner Dashkevich Sent To Maximum-Security Jail". Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. Archived from the original on 31 October 2012. Retrieved 30 October 2012.
- "'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.
- 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.