blogger, anarchist, sentenced to 5 years of imprisonment
Date of birth: 23 August 1988
Date of detention: 11 November 2020
Art. 342 of the Criminal Code — Organization and preparation of actions that grossly violate public order, or active participation in them
Art. 361 of the Criminal Code — Calls for actions aimed at causing harm to the national security of the Republic of Belarus
Art. 295-3 of the Criminal Code — Illegal actions in relation to objects which action is based on use of combustible substances
Sentence: 5 years
Penalty: imprisonment in a high security prison
Judge: Anastasiya Papko
Prosecutor: Anton Tsiumentsau
Prison: Prison No. 1
Godparent: Tamara Funiciello, member of the Swiss National Council
Mikalai Dziadok is a political vlogger and an anarchist movement activist.
He was detained on November 12, 2020, by officers of GUBAZIK (Main Directorate for Combating Organized Crime and Corruption) and the Interior Ministry. He was severely beaten and reportedly tortured during and after the arrest. Dziadok was taken to the detention center on Akrescin Street and later transferred to the pre-trial detention center on Valadarski Street.
On November 10, 2021, the Minsk City Court sentenced Mikalai Dziadok to five years of imprisonment in a general-security penal colony. Judge Anastasiya Papko found him guilty of 'organizing and preparing actions grossly disrupting public order or active participation in them' (Article 342), 'calls for actions aimed at harming the national security of the Republic of Belarus' (Article 361) and 'illegal actions with combustible substances' (Article 295-3 of the Criminal Code). That was the very punishment requested by the prosecutor Anton Tsiumentsau. Mikalai Dziadok pleaded not guilty to any of the charges.
In late November 2021, Dziadok was transferred to remand prison #4 in Mahilioŭ. After a meeting with him, his father told about the pressure exerted on Mikalai Dziadok by the prison administration.
On December 16, 2021, the prison administration put Mikalai Dziadok on a preventive list as "prone to suicide and self-mutilation". In his letter from the prison, Dziadok said that on New Year's Eve, he was placed in a punishment cell for an unknown reason and term.
On January 25, 2022, a panel of the Supreme Court consisting of Uladzimir Davydau, Andrei Kavalchuk, and Mikalai Hryntsevich considered Mikalai Dziadok's appeal and upheld the sentence.
On February 12, 2022, Dziadok was transferred to penal colony #9 in Horki, Mahilioŭ region. The colony administration immediately subjected him to pressure: he was placed in a punishment cell for 7 days, assigned a so-called low-status job, and deprived of a long-term visit. There were also problems with his correspondence and the permitted amount for buying essential goods was reduced to the minimum.
On March 10, 2022, the administration punished Dziadok with four months in a tighter regime cell for protesting against the impedance of his correspondence and the persecution of those convicts who communicated with the political prisoner. The two of his inmates who continued communicating with him were placed in a punitive confinement cell.
On June 28, 2022, the Horki District Court considered transferring Mikalai Dziadok to a tighter regime penitentiary and changing the custody level for him. Judge Stanislau Liashenka ruled to transfer the political prisoner to a high-security prison regime for two years and 10 months. In early July, Mikalai Dziadok was transferred from penal colony #9 in Horki (Mahilioŭ region) to prison #1 in Hrodna.
His relatives reported that on August 23—on his birthday—the prison administration extended the punishment cell term for Mikalai Dziadok for at least a month and a half.
In January and February 2023, the prison administration placed the political prisoner in a punitive confinement cell again, for 7 days, for unknown reasons.
On April 24, 2023, Mikalai Dziadok was released from the punitive confinement cell, in which he spent 10 days for having gone to bed a few minutes earlier than allowed.