Iryna Vikkholm

Russian citizen, served full term, released

Former prisoner

Date of birth: 27 May 1963

Date of detention: 28 May 2021

Charges indicted:

Art. 367 of the Criminal Code — Slander against the President of the Republic of Belarus

Sentence: 1 1/2 years

Penalty: imprisonment in a general-security penal colony

Date of release: 1 September 2022

Judge: Yauhen Brehan

Prosecutor: Aliaksandr Batsiushka

Iryna Vikkholm is a Russian national convicted under Article 367 of the Criminal Code (slander against the president).

The woman was taken into custody in a pre-trial detention center.

Vikkholm was arrested on May 28, 2021 for a Tweet written on May 23. The Tweet led to publication on LiveJournal with a repost of a publication by BBC's Russian Service about the incident with the Ryanair plane (which resulted in the arrest of Raman Pratasevich). Vikkholm added her headline to the repost: "Another crime of Lukashenka: an act of state aviation piracy". The controversial phrase was a quotation from the BBC text as a reaction of the Greek Foreign Ministry.

On September 20, 2021, Vikkholm was sentenced to 18 months’ imprisonment a general-security penal colony, after the Maskoŭski Court in Brest found her guilty of “slander against the president” (Article 367 of the Criminal Code of Belarus).

Vikkholm served her sentence in full and was released on September 1, 2022, after which she was immediately deported to Russia. The woman was banned from entering Belarus for 10 years.

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