Siarhei Satsuk

investigative journalist, sentenced to 8 years of imprisonment

Date of birth: 15 April 1968

Date of detention: 8 December 2021

Charges indicted:

Art. 430 of the Criminal Code — Taking a bribe
Art. 130 of the Criminal Code — Incitement to hatred
Art. 426 of the Criminal Code: Abuse of power or authority

Sentence: 8 years

Penalty: imprisonment in a general-security penal colony

Prison sentence start date: 15 March 2023

Judge: Sviatlana Bandarenka

Prison: Penal colony No. 15

Godparent: Swantje Michaelsen, member of the German Bundestag

Siarhei Satsuk is an investigative journalist and the editor-in-chief of the Belarusian online media Ejednevnik (EJ.BY).

He was arrested on December 8, 2021. His home was searched and he was interrogated by the Investigative Committee. After being interrogated in an old case under Article 430 of the Criminal Code ('Taking a bribe'), Siarhei Satsuk was taken into custody and placed in a pre-trial detention center.

Earlier, on March 25, 2020, Siarhei Satsuk was already arrested as a defendant in the same case. On March 26, 2020, he was taken into custody. On March 26 and 27, 2020, searches were carried out in the office of Ejednevnik and the journalist's home. Following the arrest and detention of Siarhei Satsuk, human rights organizations adopted the Statement, in which the journalist's arrest and custody during the preliminary criminal investigation were recognized as disproportionate and excessive measures. That was considered as politically motivated persecution of the journalist aiming to force him to stop or change his activities in the sphere of disseminating information about corruption. The Statement included the demand for Siarhei Satsuk’s immediate release from custody. On April 4, 2020, the Prosecutor General of Belarus revoked the decision on Siarhei Satsuk’s imprisonment.

His former cellmate informed that Siarhei Satsuk was also accused of 'inciting hatred' (Part 2 of Article 130 of the Criminal Code) and 'abuse of power or official authority' (Part 2 of Article 426 of the Criminal Code). It is not known from what of his actions the charges stemmed.

On September 23, 2022, his trial began in the Minsk Municipal Court. The prosecution asked for eight years of imprisonment for Satsuk. Judge Sviatlana Bandarenka agreed with the prosecutor and sentenced the journalist to eight years of imprisonment in a general-security penal colony.

In November, Satsuk was transferred from Remand Prison #1 in Minsk to Prison #4 in Mahilioŭ. There, the political prisoner's health is deteriorating: he has heart problems and his other diseases have aggravated, but he is not given the required amount of pills. They also regularly transfer the journalist from one cell to another for unknown reasons.

On February 10, 2023, the Supreme Court dismissed Satsuk's appeal and upheld the first instance judgment.

In mid-March 2023, Siarhei Satsuk was transferred to Penal Colony #15 in Mahilioŭ.

Due to his health problems, Siarhei Satsuk was allowed to perform 'light work' in the penal colony.

Healthcare corruption whistleblower Siarhei Satsuk sentenced to 8 years in jail

On July 26, 2022, the Minsk Municipal Court passed a verdict in the criminal case of political prisoner journalist Siarhei Satsuk. Judge Sviatlana Bandarenka considered the case. It was not her first case against the free press—she was the one who convicted journalist Katsiaryna Barysevich for the article about the death of Raman Bandarenka.


Mail address: Penal colony No. 15. 213105, Mahilioŭ, Viejna, Slaŭharadskaja šaša 183

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