Ihar Bantsar

punk musician, sentenced to 1 1/2 years of restricted freedom, later sentence replaced by 55 days in prison

Date of birth: 24 February

Date of detention: 20 October 2020

Charges indicted:

Part 1 of Art. 339 of the Criminal Code — Hooliganism

Sentence: 1 1/2 years, 55 days

Penalty: restricted freedom in an open penal facility ("khimiya")

Prison sentence start date: 29 September 2021

Judge: Natallia Kozel

Prison: Open correctional facility No. 9

Godparent: Rasmus Andresen, member of the European Parliament

Ihar Bantsar is a rock musician based in Hrodna, leader of the punk band Mister X, and an activist.

He was detained on October 20, 2020 for performing a dance without pants in front of a police car.

These actions were qualified by the investigation authorities as hooliganism, Part 1 of Art. 339 of the Criminal Code. Meanwhile, as testified by the accused, the actual motives and purposes of this act were protesting through staging a performance, which was accompanied by a partial public exposure (dancing in thongs) in front of a car with police officers in it.

Bantsar was kept in custody until the trial. During the trial, which began on March 3, 2021, the defendant went on a dry hunger strike.

On March 19, 2021, Judge Natallia Kozel of the Lieninski District Court of Hrodna sentenced Ihar Bantsar to one and a half years of restricted freedom in an open correctional facility (so called “khimiya”). The convict was released in the courtroom to await an appeal hearing.

On June 17, Bantsar started serving his sentence at penitentiary No. 9.

On September 29, the Čyhunačny District Court of Viciebsk sentenced Ihar Bantsar to 1 month and 25 days in a penal colony, thus replacing his initial sentence of restricted freedom in an open penitentiary (“khimiya”).

On November 1, the political prisoner was returned from "khimiya" to a penal colony in Viciebsk and immediately placed in a punishment cell. The prison authorities argued that he had committed several violations.

Mail address: Open correctional facility No. 9. 210034, Vitebsk, street 3rd Chepinskaya, 39

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)

💡 More tips here