independent trade union activist, sentenced to 4 years of imprisonment
Date of birth: 12 April 1993
Date of detention: 17 November 2021
Part 3 of Art. 293 of the Criminal code — Training or other preparation of persons for participation in mass riots, or financing of this activity
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: 26 January 2023
Judge: Natallia Buhuk
Prison: Penal colony No. 1
Godparent: Éric Bocquet, Member of the French Senate
Artsiom Zharnak is an independent trade union activist at the Minsk Automobile Plant. He was arrested on November 17, 2021.
Zhernak was taken into custody on charges under part 3 of Art. 293 and Art. 361 of the Criminal Code for ‘training mass riots participants’ and ‘calls for restrictive measures (sanctions)’.
On 13 October 2022, Judge Natallia Buhuk of the Minsk Municipal Court passed a verdict. She found Zhernak guilty under three articles of the Criminal Code:
- ‘calls for restrictive measures (sanctions) and other actions aimed at causing harm to national security’ (Part 3 of Article 361)
- ‘participation in actions that grossly violate the public order’ (Part 1 of Article 342)
- ‘creation of an extremist formation or participation in it’ (Part 1 of Article 361-1)
Zhernak was sentenced to four years of imprisonment in a general-security penal colony.