Mikalai Klimovich

sentenced to 1 year in penal colony, died while in custody

Former prisoner

Date of birth: 27 September 1961

Date of detention: 28 February 2023

Charges indicted:

Art. 368 of the Criminal Code — Insulting the President of the Republic of Belarus

Sentence: 1 year

Penalty: imprisonment in a general-security penal colony

Judge: Andrei Bychyla

Prosecutor: Illia Huzarevich

Died in prison

Mikalai Klimovich's pages on social networks attracted the attention of law enforcers in December 2022. He was arrested and placed in a detention center. Having spent three days behind bars, the blogger felt unwell. Klimovich has a disability due to heart disease. The police handed him over to doctors for treatment and released him pending trial.

Klimovich was accused of insulting Lukashenka in a satirical picture he had posted on a social network, under Article 368 of the Criminal Code ('Contempt of the president of Belarus').

On February 28, 2023, the court of the Pinsk District and City Court sentenced Klimovich to 12 months of imprisonment in a general-security penal colony. Judge Andrei Bychyla handed down that sentence at the suggestion of Prosecutor Illia Huzarevich, even though the convict had a heart disability. Mikalai Klimovich was arrested in the courtroom.

The appeal review was scheduled for April 21, 2023, in the Brest Regional Court. To serve his term, Mikalai Klimovich was transferred to penal colony #3 in Vićba, Viciebsk region.

On May 5, 2023, the Ministry of Internal Affairs included the political prisoner in the 'List of citizens of Belarus, foreign citizens or stateless persons involved in extremist activities'.

On May 5, 2023, Mikalai Klimovich died in penal colony #3 in Vićba, Viciebsk region. He passed away at the age of 61.

We demand to investigate Klimovich's death and the lack of proper medical care in the colonies

Statement by the human rights community of Belarus

Political prisoner Mikalai Klimovich dies in Viciebsk colony

On May 7, Viasna human rights group learned of the death of the 61-year-old political prisoner, blogger, and public activist from Pinsk, Mikalai Klimovich, in Viciebsk penal colony No. 3. Klimovich was sentenced to 12 months in jail for reacting to a caricature of Lukashenka posted on the Russian social network Odnoklassniki. The man had a second-degree disability due to heart disease; he had suffered a stroke and underwent complex heart surgery. Despite this, the court in Pinsk sentenced him to imprisonment.


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