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UA 173/20
Abgeschlossen am 30. April 2021
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Upcoming verdict on 30 April


Viachaslau Rahashchuk’s trial came to an end in mid-April, alongside 13 other defendants in the city of Pinsk, south Western Belarus. They all stand accused of mass riots and faces a prison sentence of up to 6.5 years. Viachaslau Rahashchuk did nothing but go for a walk with his sister and young nephew on the evening he was detained and is one of thousands detained arbitrarily as part of the authorities’ ongoing brutal crackdown against peaceful protesters following the widely contested presidential election in August 2020.

Viachaslau is still suffering physically due to the days of torture he was subjected to following his detention on 10 August.

The court will deliver the verdicts on 30 April so there is still time to send appeals, urgently, to the Belarusian authorities, reiterating our calls from the Urgent Action that:   
-    Viachaslau Rahashchuk is immediately and unconditionally released as someone who was arbitrarily detained and has committed no crime;
-    That he is able to access immediate and adequate medical treatment due to his continuing health concerns which have still not been adequately addressed by the prison authorities.

In his final statement during his trial, Viachaslau Rahashchuk thanked his family and all those who have supported him and asked the court to give a sentence that reflects only what he did and not what some people have made up.

Tortured detainee denied medical care

AI-Index: EUR 49/3463/2020

Viachaslau Rahashchuk is a taxi driver from the Belarusian city of Pinsk who was arbitrarily detained in 10 August and remains behind bars. He is in need of urgent medical treatment due to injuries he sustained from being tortured while in detention.


Viachaslau Rahushchuk’s case is representative of the widespread and egregious human rights violations that continue against those in Belarus who express dissent, as well as every-day people, following the beginning of mass peaceful protests against the widely contested results of the presidential election on 9 August. Belarus is facing its most serious human rights crisis in its post-independence history.

Opposition activists, journalists and bloggers, those expressing dissent, peaceful protesters and, as in the case of Viachaslau, by-standers, have been swept up in their thousands by law enforcement officers, many of whom operate in plain clothes, with no identifying insignia and often using excessive force. Current estimates are that over 30,000 people have been detained since 9 August. Thousands have faced proceedings under the Code of Administrative Offences resulting in fines or periods of «administrative detention» up to 15 days which can be imposed consecutively leading to much longer periods of detention. Over 900 people have been charged under the Criminal Code under various Articles and are facing prison sentences of up to 15 years. Others have already been sentenced to terms of imprisonment. Hundreds of peaceful protesters continue to be detained weekly. All those who have been targeted solely for exercising their human rights are prisoners of conscience and must be immediately and unconditionally released.

Local and international human rights organisations have collected hundreds of testimonies of detainees who have been subjected to torture and other ill-treatment at the time of arrest, during transportation and while in pre-trial detention. As yet, not a single investigation has been opened by the Belarusian authorities against law enforcement officers. This continuing failure by the the Belarusian authorities to hold the perpetrators of such serious human rights violations to account is leading to increasing calls for the creation an international tribunal to ensure justice is secured.

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