opposition activist, sentenced to 2 years in prison
Date of birth: 19 April 1962
Date of detention: 5 February 2021
Art. 391 of the Criminal Code - Insulting a judge
Sentence: 2 years
Penalty: imprisonment in a general-security penal colony
Judge: Dzmitry Sasnouski
Prosecutor: Mikhail Androsenka
Prison: Penal colony No. 3
Uladzimir Tsurpanau is an opposition activist based in Mahilioŭ.
During an administrative trial in September 2020, Tsurpanau allegedly insulted Judge Viktoryia Paliakova of the Lieninski District Court, and on October 14, in similar circumstances, he reportedly verbally attacked Judge Volha Krauchanka of the Kastryčnicki District Court. As a result, the activist faced two criminal charges.
On December 24, Judge Khaladtsou of the Mahilou District Court sentenced Tsurpanau to three years of restricted freedom (so-called “khimiya”) under Art. 391 of the Criminal Code (insulting a judge or lay judge).
In early February, the activist was sent to serve his sentence in open penitentiary No. 46 in Kruhlaje.
However, on March 16, 2021, it became known that Tsurpanau was placed in the pre-trial detention center of prison No. 4 in Mahilioŭ. He faced new charges under Art. 415 of the Criminal Code, "evasion from serving a sentence of restriction of freedom." The convict allegedly “committed a number of violations of the order and conditions of serving the sentence.” In particular, he was lying on his bed at an unauthorized time and failed to make his bed.
Tsurpanau wrote on his Facebook page that the case was opened for refusing to do poorly paid work assigned by the prison authorities, demanding a salary corresponding to the minimum amount guaranteed by the state.
On June 4, the political prisoner was sentenced to 2 years in a general-security penal colony. The defendant pleaded not guilty, saying that "there was no investigation into his case." The trial took place at the Kruhlaje District Court chaired by Judge Dzmitry Sasnouski.