ex-police officer, sentenced to 2 years, released after serving full sentence
Date of birth: 19 November 1983
Date of detention: 4 December 2020
Art. 369 of the Criminal Code — Insulting a government official
Sentence: 2 years
Penalty: restricted freedom in an open penal facility ("khimiya")
Prison sentence start date: 7 June 2021
Date of release: 15 February 2023
Judge: Tatsiana Pirozhnikava
Godparent: Kati Piri, member of the Dutch Parliament
Dzmitry Kulakouski is the former head of the criminal investigation department of the Zavodski District Police Department of Minsk. He worked in the police since 2006, receiving professional awards and gratitude from the leadership. After the 2020 presidential election, he resigned due to his disagreement with the authorities’ violent policies.
In October 2020, he was detained by the Interior Ministry’s internal security service and spent almost a month in a pre-trial detention center on charges of allegedly disobeying an official. During his stay in the pre-trial detention center, he was repeatedly subjected to torture and ill-treatment, according to his lawyer’s repeated complaints and media reports.
On December 4, 2020, Dzmitry Kulakouski was detained while trying to leave Belarus. He was later remanded in the Žodzina pre-trial detention center as part of a criminal case under Art. 369 of the Criminal Code ('Insulting a government official').
On January 22, 2021, Judge Tatsiana Pirozhnikava of the Maskoŭski District Court of Minsk sentenced Dzmitry Kulakouski to two years’ imprisonment in an open-type penal facility (so-called “khimiya”). Kulakouski was released from custody immediately after the verdict was announced, but remained under travel restrictions pending appeal hearings.
On May 20, the former police officer was detained in an administrative case for alleged disobedience under Art. 24.3 of the Administrative Code and impriosned for 15 days.
On the last day of the 15-day term, June 4, Dzmitry Kulakouski was transferred to serve his criminal sentence at correctional facility No. 7 in Brest region.
The political prisoner served his full sentence and was released on February 15, 2023.
Last May Lukashenka stripped of military and special ranks more than 80 former officers of law enforcement bodies, who joined the independent association of security forces ByPOL or supported protests. Viasna collected names of former law enforcement and military officers who spoke out against Lukashenka's regime and who are persecuted by the state. Most of them are recognized as political prisoners.