Ryhor Kastusiou

leader of BPF party, sentenced to 10 years of imprisonment

Date of birth: 17 April 1957

Date of detention: 12 April 2021

Charges indicted:

Art. 357 of the Criminal Code — Conspiracy to seize power in an unconstitutional way

Sentence: 10 years

Penalty: imprisonment in a medium-security penal colony

Judge: Uladzimir Areshka

Prosecutor: Mikhail Kavaliou

Prison: Prison No. 1

Ryhor Kastusiou

Ryhor Kastusiou has been the chairman of the Belarusian Popular Front (BPF) Party since 2017 and was a presidential candidate from the BPF Party in the 2010 presidential elections. 

He was arrested on April 12, 2021, in Škloŭ (Mahilioŭ region). He was charged with 'plotting against the government in order to seize state power’ under Article 357 of the Criminal Code and placed in a pre-trial detention center, along with Aliaksandr FiadutaYuryi ZiankovichDzianis Krauchuk, and Volha Halubovich involved in the same case.

In detention, Kastusiou's health problems worsened. He was diagnosed with cancer.

The trial commenced on July 29, 2022, in the Minsk Regional Court. Kastusiou pleaded not guilty. On August 30, state prosecutor Mikhail Kavaliou demanded 12 years of imprisonment for the political prisoner. On September 5, Judge Uladzimir Areshka found Kastusiou guilty and sentenced him to 10 years of imprisonment in a medium-security penal colony.

On November 29, the Supreme Court upheld the sentence of the political prisoner.

On December 9, 2022, the Ministry of Internal Affairs added Ryhor Kastusiou to their 'List of Belarusian citizens, foreign citizens or stateless persons involved in extremist activities'.

In December 2022, Kastusiou was transferred to penal colony #22 in the Brest region.

On July 16, 2023, Kastusiou told his wife in a phone call that not only had he been deprived of relatives' visits, but also that his private records had been taken from him, including a draft of a book and mailing addresses.

In November, it became known that the political prisoner was placed in a punishment cell (PKT) for 6 months.

According to human rights activists, on January 15, a trial was held in the Ivacevičy District Court to replace the security level for Kastusiou. By the decision of Judge Siarhei Kukhatskavolets, Kastusiou was transferred to a prison security level.

Ryhor Kastusiou was transferred to Hrodna Prison No. 1.

Philosopher Aliaksandr Fiaduta sentenced to 10 years in jail

On September 5, 2022, the Minsk Regional Court pronounced the verdicts on the high-profile case of ‘conspiracy to seize state power’, the trial of which had been ongoing since July 29.

Mail address: Prison No. 1. 230023, Hrodna, vulica Kirava 1

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