ornithologist, sentenced to 2 1/1 years
Date of birth: 18 January 1975
Date of detention: 31 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 1/2 years
Penalty: imprisonment in a general-security penal colony
Judge: Alena Murashka
Prison: Penal colony No. 15
Godparent: Hanna Steinmüller, member of the German Bundestag
Viktar Fianchuk is former director of Achova ptušak Baćkaŭščyny (APB BirdLife Belarus), a nation-wide NGO working to protect birdlife.
Fianchuk was detained after a search in the organization's Minsk office on August 31, 2021. He was sentenced to 12 days of administrative imprisonment for allegedly "resisting police officers."
However, after serving the term, he was not released, but was arrested as part of a criminal case of "group actions that grossly violate public order" (Article 342 of the Criminal Code).
Judge Alena Murashka of Maskouski District Court of Minsk sentenced Viktar to two and a half years of imprisonment and ordered him to pay compensation to Minsktrans in the amount of 196 thousand rubles. That was the punishment the state prosecutor had earlier requested.