artist, sentenced to 5 years
Date of birth: 6 August 1965
Date of detention: 30 March 2021
Art. 370 of the Criminal Code — Desecration of state symbols
Art. 130 of the Criminal Code — Incitement to hatred
Sentence: 5 years
Penalty: imprisonment in a maximum-security penal colony
Judge: Alena Shylko
Prosecutor: Aliaksandr Karol
Prison: Penal colony No. 22
Godparent: Camilla Hansén, member of the Swedish Parliament
Ales Pushkin is a well-known artist.
On March 30, 2021, it was reported that Pushkin had been detained by the Interior Ministry in the village of Žyličy in the Kiraŭsk district, Mahilioŭ region.
On March 26, the Hrodna city prosecutor’s office opened a criminal case against Ales Pushkin and Pavel Mazheika, head of the Center for Urban Life in Hrodna, together with other individuals, for “deliberate actions aimed at rehabilitating and justifying Nazism” (Part 3 of Art. 130 of the Criminal Code, “incitement to hatred”). Pavel Mazheika was detained but later released without a charge.
According to the prosecutor’s office, the reason for the criminal case was a portrait of Yauhen Zhykhar with a machine gun on the shoulder by artist Ales Pushkin exhibited at the Center for Urban Life on March 19. According to the prosecutor’s office, during the exhibition, Ales Pushkin “characterized Zhykhar as a man of the Belarusian resistance, a fighter against the Bolsheviks, by which glorified and approved of his actions.”
On the night of March 26, Pushkin's house was searched. After his detention on March 30, he was transferred to the Hrodna prison No. 1.
In late April, Pushkin was transferred to pre-trial detention center No. 1 in Minsk.
Ales' trial began on March 10, 2022. The case was considered by judge Alena Shylko in closed hearings. It is known that on March 25 Ales Pushkin cut his own stomach in prison.
On March 30, 2022, the court found Pushkin guilty and sentenced him to 5 years in a general-regime penal colony. During the announcement of the verdict, Ales spoke loudly and undressed so that the cuts on his stomach in the shape of a cross could be seen. For this, he was placed in a punishment cell for 13 days.
A well-known artist, participant of international exhibitions, author of flash mobs and performances, Ales Pushkin, has been sent to a psychiatric hospital in Navinki for examination, Belsat has learned.