Yauhen Hovar

BMZ employee, sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison, sentence commuted to freedom restriction

Date of birth: 27 August 1978

Date of detention: 1 February 2021

Charges indicted:

Art. 342 of the Criminal Code — Organization and preparation of actions that grossly violate public order, or active participation in them

Sentence: 2 1/2 years

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

Date of release: 7 July 2023

Judge: Yauhen Yerafeyeu

Prosecutor: Andrei Anoshka

Godparent: Gabi Weber, member of the German Bundestag

Yauhen Hovar is an employee of the Belarusian Steel Works (BMZ) in Žlobin (Homieĺ region).

On August 17, 2020, in protest against the election fraud and violent crackdown on peaceful protesters, Yauhen Hovar and other BMZ employees blocked the road for the factory's support vehicles.

Hovar refused to testify but pleaded guilty. In his last words, he said, “I fully admit my guilt and sincerely repent. I do. Please do not punish me severely".

On February 1, 2021, the Žlobin District Court found him guilty of “breaching public order” (Part 1 of Article 342 of the Criminal Code) and sentenced him to two years and six months of imprisonment in a general-security penal colony.

On September 16, 2021, he was pardoned and his sentence was commuted to restricted freedom in an open-type penal facility.

In early July 2023, Yauhen Hovar was released from open-type penal facility #3 in Biaroza (Bret region), having fully served his sentence—more than 2 years and 5 months.

Workers sentenced to prison terms over political strike

Three employees of the government-owned BMZ steel works were found guilty of “breaching public order” (Part 1 of Art. 342 of the Criminal Code) during a strike demanding political change organized at the enterprise on August 17. Ihar Povarau, who was earlier called a political prisoner, has been sentenced to three years in prison, while Aliaksandr Babrou and Yauhen Hovar – to two and half years each. The fourth defendant in the case, Russian national Pavel Magidov, left the country to escape arrest.


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