Halina Dzerbysh


Date of birth: 5 August 1961

Date of detention: 10 December 2020

Charges indicted:

Part 2 of Art. 285 of the Criminal Code — Participation in a criminal organization in any other form
Art. 289 of the Criminal Code — An act of terrorism
Part 1 of Art. 14 and Part 2 of Art. 357 of the Criminal Code — Attempted conspiracy to seize state power by unconstitutional means

Sentence: 20 years

Penalty: imprisonment in a general-security penal colony

Prison sentence start date: 31 March 2023

Judge: Maksim Filatau

Prosecutor: Liudmila Herasimenka, Uladzimir Rabau

Prison: Penal colony No. 4

Notes: Health issues, Пенсійны ўзрост

Cases: Справа Аўтуховіча

Groups: Activists

Godparent: Ewa Ernst-Dziedzic, Member of the Austrian Nationalrat

On the list of “terrorists” (money transfers are prohibited)

Halina Dzerbysh is a retired accountant in the town of Abuchava, Hrodna district. It is known that she suffers from cancer and heart disease. For almost 15 years, the woman volunteered as an independent election observer.

Dzerbysh was arrested on terrorism charges in high-profile Autukhovich case.

In February 2021, the KGB put the political prisoner on the list of persons involved in terrorist activities.

At one of the hearings, Halina stated that during the investigation she was constantly being threatened and forced into self-incrimination. She kept complaining to the prosecutor's office but never received any response. Furthermore, she was placed in a punishment cell for 10 days and refused the necessary medication, which caused her to faint several times. On July 26, 2022, Dzerbysh was placed in a punishment cell for another seven days because she refused to go through a court scanner.

On October 17, 2022, Halina Dzerbysh received 20 years of imprisonment in a general-security penal colony and a fine of 22,400 Belarusian rubles ($8,800). She was convicted under three articles of the Criminal Code:

  • ‘Taking part in a criminal organization’ (Part 2 of Article 285)
  • ‘An act of terrorism committed by a group of persons’ (Part 3 of Article 289)
  • ‘Conspiracy to seize state power by unconstitutional means’ (Part 1 of Article 357)

The defendants in the case were political activist Mikalai Autukhovich, priest Siarhei Rezanovich, his wife Liubou Rezanovich, their son Pavel Rezanovich, pensioner Halina Dzerbysh, activist Uladzimir Hundar, activist Volha Mayorava, pensioner Iryna Melkher and her son Anton Melkher, and Iryna Harachkina, Viktar Snehur and Pavel Sava. They have been held behind bars for 22 months. Only two of them fully admitted their guilt.  All of them were detained in December–January 2020. The authorities immediately declared Autukhovich the organizer and leader of a “terrorist group” that operated in the Hrodna region and allegedly set police officers’ cars and houses on fire.

The trial lasted five months. The verdict was pronounced on October 17, 2022, in the Hrodna Regional Court. Judge Maksim Filatau imposed jail terms ranging from two and a half to 25 years. Deputy chair of the prosecutor's office Liudmila Herasimenka and senior assistant prosecutor Rabau represented the state prosecution at the trial. The people's assessors were Stavorka, Zhdanovich, and Nichypor.

Mikalai Autukhovich gets 25 years in jail, members of his ‘group’—up to 20

On October 17, 2022, the Hrodna Regional Court pronounced the verdicts on the high-profile Autukhovich case. The trial lasted five months. Judge Maksim Filatau imposed jail terms ranging from two and a half to 25 years.


Mail address: Penal colony No. 4. 246035, Homieĺ, vulica Antoshkina 3

Addresses of prisons:

What should I know and how to help?

✉️ Write a letter. Make a scan of your letter or postcard and share it online

🤝 Please use the Russian (or Belarusian) name of the prison

💡 Foreign-language messages may be blocked, so attach a translation (e.g. translate.google.com)

💡 A big guide about helping Belarusian political prisoners from abroad

💡 More tips here

Support “Viasna”