19 November 2018, Monday, 17:40
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Political prisoner Yury Rubtsou turns 54

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YURY RUBTSOU
PHOTO: RADIO SVABODA

Yury Rubtsou, recently sentenced to 2 years of imprisonment, turns 54 today.

He spends his birthday in the remand prison in Baranavichy.

Yury Rubtsou was born on July 29, 1961 in Homel. He is married.

During the rally Chernobylski Shlyakh – 2014 on April 26 in Minsk he attracted attention by a bright T-shirt with the words: “Lukashenka, resign!” After the rally he was detained by policemen.

On April 28, 2014 he was taken to the court of Savetski district of Minsk. Reports on charges related Articles 17.1 of the Administrative Code (“Petty hooliganism”) and 23.4 (“insubordination to legal demands of official persons”) were considered. After the detention he was stripped off his T-shirt, he was made to stay in the court half-naked all day long, and in this way he was taken to Judge Kiryl Polulekh. Almost nobody was allowed to be present during the consideration of the administrative case. As a reaction to this situation Yury expressed his evaluation, calling such court trials “court martial”, and judges who passed illegal court decisions “rascals”. As a result he was sentenced to a maximum term of administrative arrest, 25 days (during this term he declared a hunger strike in the remand prison), and later a criminal case on charges related Article 391 of the Criminal Code was opened (“Insult of judge”).

On October 6, 2014 Yury Rubtsou was sentenced by the court of Central district of Minsk to 1 year 6 months of restriction of freedom and sent to an open-type penal facility.

Viasna human rights centre and the Belarusian Helsinki Committee in their joint statement demand release of Yury Rubtsou and reconsideration of the case in accordance with the principles of a fair trial.

On December 22, 2014 he was sent to serve his sentence in the village of Kuplin, Pruzhany district.

The new criminal case against Yury was initiated on March 18, 2015 on charges related Article 415 of the Criminal Code “evasion of serving the sentence in the form of restriction of freedom.” He was placed under detention on April 6, since April 13 he was transferred to the remand prison in Baranavichy. The court of Pruzhany district found Yury Rubtsou guilty and sentenced him to 2 years of detention.

Opposition and human rights activists in Belarus, as well as abroad, recognized Homel activist a political prisoner and demand his release.