Uladzimir Matskevich

philosopher, methodologist, sentenced to 5 years of imprisonment

Date of birth: 14 May 1956

Date of detention: 4 August 2021

Charges indicted:

Art. 342 of the Criminal Code — Organization and preparation of actions that grossly violate public order, or active participation in them
Art. 368 of the Criminal Code — Insulting the President of the Republic of Belarus
Art. 361-1 of the Criminal Code — Creation of an extremist formation, or participation in it

Sentence: 5 years

Penalty: imprisonment in a high security prison

Judge: Siarhei Yepikhau

Prison: Prison No. 4

Godparent: Luise Amtsberg, member of the Bundestag

Uladzimir Matskevich

Uladzimir Matskevich is a philosopher, methodologist, public figure, and a co-founder of the Flying University educational initiative.

He was detained on August 4, 2021 after his apartment was searched as part of a criminal investigation.

On August 18, Matskevich was charged with 'organizing actions that grossly violate public order' (Art. 342 of the Criminal Code).

Demanding to change the measure of restraint to a written undertaking not to leave, to complete the investigation and set a date for the trial, Matskevich went on a hunger strike on February 3 and on a 'dry' hunger strike on February 15, 2022. He ended his hunger strike on the evening of February 16. According to his words conveyed by his lawyer, "The case moved forward".

From the statement of Uladzimir Matskevich on ending the hunger strike, it became known that he was also charged with 'creating an extremist formation' (Part 1 of Art. 361-1).

The case was sent to court in mid-April 2022. The political prisoner was finally charged under three articles of the Criminal Code: Part 1 of Art. 342 ('Active participation in group actions that grossly violate public order') for the People's Ultimatum March on October 25, 2020; part 1 of Art. 361-1 ('Creation of an extremist formation') for the Skhod online platform; and Part 1 of Art. 368 ('Insulting the president of Belarus') for a video posted on YouTube.

The trial began on June 9, 2022 in the Minsk Regional Court, behind closed doors. On June 23, Uladzimir Matskevich was sentenced to five years of imprisonment in a medium-security penal colony. The political prisoner decided not to appeal the verdict.

In July 2022, Matskevich was transferred to Penal Colony #17 in Škloŭ, Mahilioŭ region.

In late October 2022, the Ministry of Internal Affairs added the political prisoner to the list of "extremists".

In February 2023, it became known that the political prisoner was placed in solitary confinement for three months. On February 13, 2023, a trial was held in the Škloŭ District Court to tighten the confinement regime for Matskevich. As a result, he was sentenced to the prison regime and transferred to Prison #4 in Mahilioŭ.


“Uladzimir is giving a signal by his hunger strike.” Politically imprisoned philosopher refuses to take food for six days

Political prisoner, philosopher, and methodologist, well-known public and political figure Uladzimir Matskevich has been kept in pre-trial detention center for six months already. On the evening of February 3, he went on a hunger strike, demanding to be released under a restriction of travel order, to complete the investigation, and to set a date for the trial. Relatives of the political prisoner launched a petition in support of Uladzimir. We have asked Sviatlana Matskevich, the ex-wife of the political prisoner, methodologist, and independent expert in the field of education about his hunger strike and the meaning behind it.

Harsh sentence for philosopher Uladzimir Matskevich

On June 23, the Minsk Regional Court sentenced political prisoner, philosopher, and founder of the Flying University Uladzimir Matskevich to five years of imprisonment in medium-security penal colony. The case was considered by Judge Siarhei Yepikhau, notorious for convicting Mariya Kalesnikava and Maksim Znak.


Mail address: Prison No. 4. 212011, Mahilioŭ, vulica Krupskaj 99A

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