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Opposition activist Zmitser Dashkevich placed in prison in Hlybokaye


Opposition youth leader Zmitser Dashkevich has been placed in Correctional Institution No. 13 in Hlybokaye, Vitsyebsk region, to continue serving his prison sentence, human rights defender Anastasiya Loyka told BelaPAN on Tuesday.

“Dashkevich is in a difficult situation there,” said Ms. Loyka. “As far as I know, his lawyer has sent a fax to the correctional institution, asking for his placement in solitary confinement.”

On the evening of September 20, associates of Mr. Dashkevich, chairman of an opposition youth organization called Malady Front, learned that he had been removed from a correctional institution in Horki to the detention center in nearby Mahilyow to be transferred to another prison.

They linked the transfer to Mr. Dashkevich’s bad relationship with the administration of Correctional Institution No. 9 in Horki. Mr. Dashkevich was placed a dozen times in the disciplinary unit since his transfer to the institution this spring. He went on hunger strike on September 12, two days after being put in disciplinary confinement without blankets or even extra clothes to keep him warm in low temperature.

The prison in Hlybokaye is considered to be one of the toughest prisons in Belarus. People convicted of murder and other serious crimes are usually placed there. Last month its former inmate, Yury Linha, met with reporters in Minsk to reveal that inmates had regularly been beaten in the prison.

On March 24, a judge of the Maskowski District Court in Minsk sentenced Mr. Dashkevich to two years in a minimum-security correctional institution, finding him guilty of "especially malicious hooliganism."
He was arrested in Minsk on December 18, on the eve of a scheduled large-scale post-election demonstration, for allegedly beating up two passers-by.

Speaking during his trial, Mr. Dashkevich said that the incident was a provocation orchestrated by authorities and accused the two alleged victims of giving false testimony.

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