sentenced to 7 years of imprisonment
Date of birth: 15 April 1952
Date of detention: 16 June 2022
Part 1 of Art. 293 of the Criminal Code — Organization of riots
Art. 369 of the Criminal Code — Insulting a government official
Art. 368 of the Criminal Code — Insulting the President of the Republic of Belarus
Art. 391 of the Criminal Code — Insulting a judge
Sentence: 6 1/2 years
Penalty: imprisonment in a medium-security penal colony
Prison sentence start date: 5 July 2023
Judge: Yuryi Kazakevich, Raman Krylovich, Liavontsii Stankevich, Aliaksandr Mokharau, Volha Babuk, Natallia Zyk
Prison: Pre-trial detention center No. 8
Vasil Dzemidovich a pensioner from Niasviž, Minsk region. He was convicted under Article 369 ('Contempt of a government official'), Article 391 (Contempt of a judge), Part 1 of Article 293 ('Organization of riots'), and Part 1 of Article 368 ('Contempt of the president of Belarus') of the Criminal Code.
It is known that Dzemidovich previously worked as a legal consultant in Russia and Belarus. In 2021, he was detained for hanging a white-red-white flag on his house in Niasviž on Freedom Day (March 25). He was convicted under Art. 24.23 of the Code of Administrative Offences and sentenced to several days of arrest. Vasil Dzemidovich writes in Belarusian on his page on social networks.
On February 9, 2022, he was tried for 'dissemination of extremist materials' under Article 19.11 of the Code of Administrative Offenses. He was found guilty of reposting from the Punishers of Belarus "extremist" Telegram channel and was fined 800 Belarusian rubles.
Vasil Dzemidovich is the oldest Belarusian in the KGB's 'List of terrorists'.
In early August 2022, the Lieninski District Court of Hrodna began the trial of Dzemidovich. On September 1, 2022, Judge Yuryi Kazakevich found Vasil Dzemidovich guilty of all the charges brought against him and sentenced him to six years of imprisonment in a medium-security penal colony and a fine of 1,600 Belarusian rubles (approx. $ 565). Besides, monetary compensation for moral damage in the total amount of 32,000 Belarusian rubles (approx. $ 11,270) was collected from the convict to benefit the victims.
Dzemidovich was held in the remand prison in Hrodna. He is serving his sentence in penal colony #1 in Navapolack. He was transferred to the remand prison in Dziaržynsk.
On November 23, 2022, Dzemidovich was placed in custody as a defendant in a new criminal case under Article 369 of the Criminal Code ('Contempt of a government official').
On January 31, 2023, the first hearing in his case took place in the Dziaržynsk District Court. On February 13, Judge Raman Krylovich sentenced Dzemidovich to 12 months of imprisonment with a fine of 1,110 Belarusian rubles. The aggregate sentence is six years and six months imprisonment in a medium-security penal colony and a fine of 2,710 Belarusian rubles (approx. $ 955).
On March 23, 2023, in the Drahičyn District Court, Judge Liavontsii Stankevich tried another case against the political prisoner under Article 369 of the Criminal Code ('Contempt of a government official'). Dzemidovich was placed in the temporary detention facility in Drahičyn (Brest region).
In April, the political prisoner was transferred to remand prison #3 in Homieĺ. On April 20, 2023, the Saviecki District Court of Homieĺ is to consider the next case against Vasil Dzemidovich. He is again charged with Article 369 ('Contempt of a government official') and Article 391 (Contempt of a judge) of the Criminal Code.
On May 2, 2023, Judge Aliaksandr Mokharau found Vasil Dzemidovich guilty and sentenced him to two years and six months of imprisonment and 30 base fines. The final sentence is seven years of imprisonment and a fine of 4,930 Belarusian rubles (approx. $1,713).
On May 5, 2023, the fifth trial against Vasil Dzemidovich was to begin. He is accused again under Article 369 of the Criminal Code ('Contempt of a government official'). The trial will take place in Puchavičy, with Volha Babuk as the judge.
The next court session is scheduled for May 24, 2023, in Puchavičy, Minsk region.
The actual location of the political prisoner is to be clarified.