Excessively long prison sentences for EPDE members following politically motivated trial
On 3 March 2023, the verdict in the trial against our jailed colleagues from Viasna was announced. Nobel Peace Prize laureate Ales Bialiatski, Valiantsin Stefanovich, Uladzimir Labkovich have been sentenced to 10, 9, and 7 years, respectively, for their legitimate human rights activities. The defendants have been held as political prisoners since July 2021.
The criminal proceedings were politically motivated. Spectators describe the conduct of the trial as questionable: witnesses were pressured not to attend in court and petitions calling for lifting the severe conditions of detention were denied. The verdicts can still be appealed by the defendants.
EPDE, its members, as well as international civil society organizations repeatedly called for their immediate and unconditional release from their unlawful imprisonment. We will continue to do so until our colleagues will be released.
More information on the trial can be found on Viasna's website.