Siarhei Pliashkun

sentenced to 16 years of enhanced security penal colony


Date of birth: 28 November 1987

Date of detention: 28 February 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. 341 of the Criminal Code — Desecration of structures and damage to property
Art. 130 of the Criminal Code — Incitement to hatred
Art. 309 of the Criminal Code — Intentional disrepair of a vehicle or communication lines
Art. 295-3 of the Criminal Code — Illegal actions in relation to objects which action is based on use of combustible substances
Art. 289 of the Criminal Code — An act of terrorism
Art. 361-4 of the Criminal Code — Promoting extremist activities

Sentence: 16 years

Penalty: imprisonment in a medium-security penal colony

Prison sentence start date: 18 April 2023

Judge: Aleh Kharoshka

Prison: Penal colony No. 1

On the list of “terrorists” (money transfers are prohibited)

Siarhei Pliashkun and another local resident Yury Selvich were detained in Mazyr on 10 March, 2022 for 'preparing an act of terrorism' (Article 13 and Article 289 of the Criminal Code).

According to the investigation, the men stored incendiary bottles, as they planned to set fire to Russian military cargo moving across the Mazyr region. Judging by the story shown on the Belarusian sate TV channels, they were closely monitored: the story contained a hidden camera footage from in a garage, where the men were discussing their plans and the expected rail damage.

Siarhei Pliashkun is charged with the following articles of the Criminal Code:

  • Part 1 of Art. 342 ('Organization and preparation of actions grossly violating public order, or active participation in them')
  • Part 1 of Art. 361-4 ('Assistance to extremist activity')
  • Art. 341 ('Desecration of buildings and damage to property')
  • Part 1 of Art. 130 ('Inciting racial, national, religious or other social hatred or enmity')
  • Part 1 of Art. 13 and Part 2 of Art. 295-3 ('Preparation for illegal actions in relation to objects, the damaging effect of which is based on the use of combustible substances by a group of persons by prior agreement')
  • Part 1 of Art. 13 and Part 2 of Art. 289 ('Preparation for an act of terrorism by a group of persons by prior agreement')
  • Part 1 of Art. 13 and Part 4 of Art. 309 ('Preparation for deliberate destruction of vehicle or communication lines aiming committing act of terrorism')

On December 6, 2022, the trial began behind closed doors in the Homieĺ Regional Court. On January 17, Judge Aleh Kharoshka announced a break until February 8.

On February 8, 2023, Siarhei Pliashkun was sentenced to 16 years of imprisonment in an enhanced security penal colony, and Yury Selvich was sentenced to 14 years.

Rail War: what we know about “Rail guerillas”

Since the onset of the invasion of Ukraine by Russian troops, including from Belarusian territory, the “Rail War” has been unfolded in Belarus. To slow down and prevent the movement of Russian military equipment into Ukraine, Belarusians are disrupting the railway network. Despite the state considering such actions as acts of terrorism, sabotage on the railroad does not stop: over a month more than a dozen of such acts have been recorded.

Mail address: Penal colony No. 1. 211440, Navapolack, vulica Techničnaya 8

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