folk rock musician, sentenced to 2 years imprisonment, released after serving full sentence
Date of birth: 31 August
Date of detention: 2 August 2021
Art. 342 of the Criminal Code — Organization and preparation of actions that grossly violate public order, or active participation in them
Sentence: 2 years
Penalty: imprisonment in a general-security penal colony
Date of release: 21 April 2023
Judge: Aliaksandr Yakunchykhin
Prosecutor: Volha Yemelyanchanka
Statement on the status of a political prisoner
Godparent: Helmut Scholz, member of the European Parliament
Uladzimir Kalach is a musician and the frontman of the IRDORATH folk rock band.
He was detained on August 2, 2021, at a summer house near Minsk, during the birthday party of his wife and the IRDORATH vocalist Nadzeya Kalach, together with the other musicians and guests. Some of the detainees were convicted over the next two days in administrative cases of police disobedience, while others, including Uladzimir Kalach, Nadzeya Kalach, Piotr Marchanka, Yuliya Marchanka, and Anton Shnip were arrested on criminal charges under Article 342 of the Criminal Code (Organization or active participation in group actions grossly disrupting public order).
Uladzimir Kalach was remanded in a pre-trial detention center as a suspect.
On December 9, 2021, the Saviecki District Court of Minsk began the trial of Uladzimir and Nadzeya Kalach accused of "organization or active participation in group actions grossly disrupting public order" (Part 1 of Article 342) and "training persons to participate in such actions, as well as financing or other material support of such activities" (Part 2 of Article 342 of the Criminal Code). The last point was eventually removed by the prosecutor`s assistant during the judicial investigation due to insufficient reasons.
On December 14, 2021, the Saviecki District Court of Minsk handed down a verdict in the criminal case of Uladzimir and Nadzeya Kalach. Judge Aliaksandr Yakunchykhin sentenced Uladzimir Kalach and his wife to 24 months of imprisonment in a general-security penal colony, as requested by the prosecutor Volha Yemialiyanchanka.
In early February 2022, it became known about the transfer of Uladzimir Kalach from remand prison #1 in Minsk to remand prison #2 in Viciebsk.
On March 25, 2022, Uladzimir Kalach was transferred to penal colony #3 in Vićba, Viciebsk region.
On November 4, 2022, the Ministry of Internal Affairs included the political prisoner in the "List of persons involved in extremist activities."
On April 21, 2023, the spouses were released having served their full sentences.
Two musicians sentenced to two years in prison
On December 14, Saviecki District Court of Minsk handed down a verdict in the criminal case of political prisoners, musicians of the fantasy-folk band IRDORATH Uladzimir and Nadzeya Kalach who had been accused of organizing and preparing actions that grossly violate public order (Part 1, Art. 342 of the Criminal Code) and training other persons to participate in such actions, as well as funding such activities (Part 2 of Art. 342 of the Criminal Code).