Siarhei Franchuk

sentenced to 3 1/2 years of imprisonment

Date of birth: 19 September 1987

Date of detention: 9 August 2022

Charges indicted:

Art. 342 of the Criminal Code — Organization and preparation of actions that grossly violate public order, or active participation in them
Art. 369 of the Criminal Code — Insulting a government official
Art. 368 of the Criminal Code — Insulting the President of the Republic of Belarus
Art. 130 of the Criminal Code — Incitement to hatred

Sentence: 3 1/2 years

Penalty: imprisonment in a general-security penal colony

Judge: Yauhen Pisarevich, Volha Serakova

Prosecutor: Ramanenka

Prison: Pre-trial detention center No. 5

Siarhei Franchuk is a cousin of Vadzim Kabanchuk, the deputy commander of the Kastuś Kalinoŭski Regiment. He was arrested on August 9, 2022, at his parents' apartment in Babrujsk, in which he had been residing lately. On that day, Franchuk's parents were out at their summer house. Five officers of the Minsk riot police broke into the apartment, hit him on the head with a pistol, searched the apartment, took away his cell phone and laptop, and arrested him.

Siarhei Franchuk has a disability of the 3rd group (moderate impairment of health and moderate social insufficiency).

At first, he was sentenced to 15 days of administrative arrest for ‘disobedience’. Besides, a ‘penitential video’ was published, in which Franchuk confessed that he had taken part in the 2020 protests and posted comments in ‘extremist’ Telegram chat rooms. On the video, a wound on his forehead was taped with medical plaster. After 15 days of arrest, Siarhei Franchuk was not released. Instead, he was sent to the detention center on Akrescina Street in Minsk.

He was charged under Article 342 of the Criminal Code (Group actions grossly disrupting public order) and transferred to remand prison #1 in Minsk.

In March 2023, it became known that Siarhei Franchuk was charged under four articles of the Criminal Code—Article 368 (Contempt of the President of Belarus), Article 369 (Contempt of a public official), and Article 130 (Incitement of hatred and enmity) were added.

On April 20, 2023, the Minsk City Court began the trial of the political prisoner. On April 27, Judge Yauhen Pisarevich sentenced Siarhei Franchuk to three years of imprisonment in a general-security penal colony, as State Prosecutor Ramanenka had demanded.

In mid-May 2023, it became known that the political prisoner was in remand prison #5 in Babrujsk, Mahilioŭ region.

The political prisoner's appeal was to be considered on June 27, 2023, in the Supreme Court.

In May 2023, a new trial against Siarhei Franchuk began, but an adjournment was announced until his appeal against the previous sentence was considered.

On July 4, 2023, in the Babrujsk District and City Court, behind closed doors, Judge Volha Serakova found Siarhei Franchuk guilty under Part 1 of Article 368 of the Criminal Code ('Contempt of the president of Belarus') and added another six months to the first sentence, resulting in three years and six months of imprisonment in a general-security penal colony.

On July 14, 2023, the Ministry of Internal Affairs added the political prisoner to their 'List of extremists'.

Mail address: Pre-trial detention center No. 5. 213826, Babrujsk, 1-y Pierajezny zavulak, 10

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