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Ales Bialiatski, associates shifted to penal colonies

The Nobel Prize winner and the head of the Belarusian human rights organization Viasna Ales Bialiatski and his two associates Valiantsin Stefanovich and Uladzimir Labkovich were transported from detention to penal colonies. Political prisoners were sentenced to prison terms in March.

According to information from the Viasna human rights center, the activists of this organization were sent to three different prisons. Ales Bialiatski, a distinguished human rights defender and last year’s Nobel Peace Prize winner, was transported to the penal colony in Gorki. Valiantsin Stefanovich was sent to the Mogilev colony, and Uladzimir Labkovich to Shklov.

The verdict in the Viasna case was passed on March 3. Bialiatski was sentenced to 10 years in prison, Stefanovich to 9, and Labkovich to 7 years.

In a high-profile political trial, the authorities initially accused Viasna’s activists of “non-payment of taxes”. The charges were later changed to “contraband” and “protest financing.” Viasna activists were detained in July 2021 and have been behind bars ever since.

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