trade union activist; sentenced to 4 years of imprisonment
Date of birth: 16 November
Date of detention: 19 April 2022
Art. 342 of the Criminal Code — Organization and preparation of actions that grossly violate public order, or active participation in them
Art. 361 of the Criminal Code — Calls for actions aimed at causing harm to the national security of the Republic of Belarus
Sentence: 4 years
Penalty: imprisonment in a general-security penal colony
Prison sentence start date: 24 March 2023
Judge: Valiantsina Ziankevich
Prison: Penal colony No. 17
Aliaksandr Yarashuk is the Chairperson of the Belarusian Congress of Democratic Trade Unions (BCDTU), an association of several independent trade unions.
On April 19, 2022, his workplace and apartment were searched and his electronic equipment was confiscated. Yarashuk was arrested and placed in pre-trial detention center. According to the preliminary information, he was charged with Article 342 of the Criminal Code ('group actions that grossly violate public order').
In late November, it became known that a new charge was brought against Yarashuk - calls for sanctions against Belarus (Part 3 of Article 361 of the Criminal Code). He faced 4 to 12 years in prison. Meanwhile, Yarashuk openly opposed the introduction of harsh sanctions against Belarus. According to the sources of the Narodnaya Volya independent media, certain information was found in his computer confiscated by law enforcers during the search.
On December 20, 2022, the City Court of Minsk began the trial of his case. On December 26, the verdict was passed: Yaroshuk was sentenced to four years of imprisonment in a general regime penal colony. This is the very punishment the prosecution asked for.