No New Year cards: Penal colony deprives political prisoner of correspondence?

Political prisoner Dzmitry Paliyenka did not receive any New Year cards, he said in a letter to human rights activist Anastasia Loyka.

None of 150 cards sent to Paliyenka on the occasion of New Year was delivered to him.

Moreover, according to the political prisoner, he spent 25 or 27 days in a punishment cell. By the moment, the prison administration got off his back. As Paliyenka suffers from allergy and asthma, he was discharged from unhealthy work of making gloves, but later he was placed back in spite of the doctor’s ban.

Human rights defenders have prepared the appeal against the actions of Babruysk penal colony.

Earlier, Paliyenka was often placed in a punishment cell for some minor violations. The political prisoner believes that in this way the administration is preparing the ground for bringing a new criminal case against him (willful disobedience to the correctional institution administration).


In April 2016, about 35 cyclists gathered in downtown Minsk to take part in the Critical Mass cycling event, an action that was aimed at ‘reclaiming the streets’, i.e. asserting their rights. Although the event was observed by a representative of the Belarusian Helsinki Committee, the riot police brutally detained several activists, including Paliyenka.

Paliyenka was charged with using violence against a police officer (Article 364 of the Criminal Code). In late August he was accused of… porno-peddling. The court found the activist guilty under the both arlicles: in October, 2016 he was sentenced to two years of impisonment with a two-year reprieve.

A court in Minsk revoked the suspension over alleged violations of related restrictions. Taking into account the time spent in pretrial detention, the judge decided that the activist would have to spend 18 months and 13 days in prison.

Amnesty International considers Dzmitry Paliyenka a political prisoner and urges Belarusian authorities to immediately and unconditionally release him.