opposition politician, co-founder of the Belarusian Christian democracy party, writer, sentenced to 7 years in prison
Date of birth: 30 December 1976
Date of detention: 7 June 2020
Part 1 of Article 13 and Article 293 of the Criminal Code — Preparation for mass riots
Sentence: 7 years
Penalty: imprisonment in a high security prison
Judge: Iryna Lanchava, Aliaksandr Tarakanau
Prison: Prison No. 1
Godparent: Michael Gahler, member of the European Parliament
Pavel Seviarynets is an opposition politician and a co-founder of the Belarusian Christian Democracy party. He was arrested on June 7, 2020. After that, he was sentenced to at least three terms of detention, 15 days each, for participating in election pickets and calls to participate in mass events.
After 75 days of administrative detention, Pavel Seviarynets was not released, but transferred to remand prison #1 (in Minsk) and later charged under Article 293 of the Criminal Code ('Organization of mass riots').
On May 25, 2021, in the Mahilioŭ Regional Court, Judge Iryna Lanchava sentenced Pavel Seviarynets to 7 years of imprisonment in a medium-security penal colony. Six more political prisoners were convicted along with him: Dzmitry Kazlou, Iryna Shchasnaya, Yauhen Afnahel, Pavel Yukhnevich, Maksim Viniarski and Andrei Voinich. The trial began on May 12 and was held behind closed doors, since, as they explained in court, “the case file belongs to a secret protected by law". On the first day of the trial, two journalists were detained near the court and arrested for several days. The political prisoners were accused of preparing to participate in mass riots under Part 1 of Article 13 ('Preparing for crime') and Part 2 of Article 293 ('Participation in riots') of the Criminal Code.
In April 2022, the administration of penal colony #17 in Škloŭ (Mahilioŭ region) recognized Pavel Seviarynets as a "malicious violator of the internal regulations". They reduced the allowed number of phone calls and money transfers for him. In June 2022, Pavel Seviarynets told his family that he had also been deprived of their long visit.
A former prisoner told that some prisoners once complained to the administration that Pavel Seviarynets was gathering Belarusian language circles of political prisoners in the church. After that, policemen began shadowing the political prisoners during the church services. In the summer of 2022, all prisoners were forbidden to communicate with Pavel Seviarynets who always spoke Belarusian.
On June 21, 2023, a new trial was held in Škloŭ (Mahilioŭ region) to change the punishment level for Pavel Seviarynets. Judge Aliaksandr Tarakanau ruled to transfer the politician to a prison regime for three years.
On July 10, 2023, it became known that Pavel Seviarynets was transferred from penal colony #17 in Škloŭ (Mahilioŭ region) to Prison #1 in Hrodna.
The Mahilioŭ Regional Court announces today its verdict in a criminal trial involving seven political prisoners: co-chair of the organizing committee of the Belarusian Christian Democracy party Pavel Seviarynets, blogger Dzmitry Kazlou, community activist Iryna Shchasnaya, and European Belarus activists Yauhen Afnahel, Pavel Yukhnevich, Maksim Viniarski and Andrei Voinich.
Pavel Seviarynets, co-founder of the Belarusian Christian Democracy party who has been in detention since June 7, has been officially charged under Part 2, Art. 293 of the Criminal Code (mass riots), according to his wife Volha.
Pavel Seviarynets, political prisoner and co-chairman of the Belarusian Christian Democracy party, will not be released after serving 75 days of administrative detention, according to his mother Tatsiana.
Pavel Seviarynets was also a political prisoner from December 2010 to October 2013. He was detained, arrested and fined many times for his active participation and organization of protests. In 2005, he was accused of organizing protests against the falsification of the 2004 election and referendum results and was sentenced to three years of imprisonment and amnestied after two years. During the presidential elections in 2010, he was a member of Vital Rymasheuski's campaign team. He was arrested after the protests against the falsification of the election results on December 20, 2010, and placed in the KGB remand prison. He was accused of "organization and preparation of actions grossly disrupting public order or active participation in them". On May 16, 2011, in the Minsk Zavodski District Court, Judge Zhanna Brysina, sentenced him to three years of freedom restriction with a referral to an open-type penal facility. He served his full sentence.