Uladzimir Kniha

volunteer with Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya's campaign, sentenced to 5 years in prison


Date of birth: 25 March 1981

Date of detention: 4 June 2020

Charges indicted:

Art. 342 of the Criminal Code — Organization and preparation of actions that grossly violate public order, or active participation in them
Art. 364 of the Criminal Code — Violence or threat of violence against an employee of the internal affairs bodies
Art. 411 — Malicious disobedience to the demands of administration of the correctional institution

Sentence: 5 years

Penalty: imprisonment in a high security prison

Judge: Volha Bekushava, Ivan Hrynkevich

Prosecutor: Mikita Myslivets

Prison: Pre-trial detention center No. 8

Groups: Сілавікі

Godparent: Sebastian Schaefer, member of the German Bundestag

Uladzimir Kniha is a defendant in the "Tsikhanouski case" initiated after the election picket of May 29, 2020, in Hrodna. He is a former police officer and a volunteer with Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya's presidential campaign.

On May 29, 2020, during an election picket held in Hrodna to collect signatures in support of Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya's nomination, the police arrested her husband, Siarhei Tsikhanouski, the head of her nomination group and the creator of a popular oppositionist YouTube channel. Several women physically attacked the famous blogger, the police intervened, and a police officer fell, which was used as a pretext for the arrest of Tsikhanouski and at least 15 other picket participants. A criminal case was instituted under Article 342 of the Criminal Code ('Organization of and active participation in group actions grossly disrupting public order').

Uladzimir Kniha was arrested on June 4, 2020. He also faced charges under Article 364 of the Criminal Code ('Violence against a police officer').

On June 2, 2021, after a long trial in the Kastryčnicki District Court of Hrodna, Uladzimir Kniha was sentenced to four years of imprisonment in a maximum-security penal colony.

In early July 2022, human rights defenders learned that Uladzimir Kniha was transferred from Penal Colony #14 in Navasady, Minsk region, to Prison #1 in Hrodna. The punishment level was changed to prison.

In mid-August 2022, the political prisoner was transferred to Remand Prison #8 in Žodzina, Minsk region. It is known that there he was held in a punishment cell for more than four months.

On July 25, 2023, the Court of Žodzina found the political prisoner guilty under Article 411 of the Criminal Code ('Persistent disobedience to lawful demands of prison administration'). Judge Ivan Hrynkevich sentenced Uladzimir Kniha to 12 more months of imprisonment in addition to the four years.

Members of Tsikhanouski’s team sentenced to 2 to 4 years in Hrodna

The Kastryčnicki District Court of Hrodna has convicted three persons targeted in what is known as “Tsikhanouski case” for their involvement in an election picket on May 29 last year in Hrodna. Human rights defenders believe that the activists were arrested and charged as a result of a provocation planned and implemented by security forces aiming to disrupt Siarhei Tsikhanouski’s presidential campaign.

Picks of the week

The nomination group of Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya has come under an unprecedented attack from Belarusian law enforcement agencies, after 12 campaign activists were arrested or otherwise persecuted, including the leader of her group and popular vlogger Siarhei Tsikhanouski and eight more activists currently held in a controversial criminal case. Photo: Uladzimir Kniha, activist of Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya's campaign team, is dragged into a police bus by plain-clothed police officers in Hrodna. June 4, 2020



Mail address: Pre-trial detention center No. 8. 222163, Žodzina, vulica Savieckaja 22A

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