Viachaslau Pantsiushenka

sentenced to 5 years imprisonment


Date of detention: 3 September 2022

Charges indicted:

Art. 361-1 of the Criminal Code — Creation of an extremist formation, or participation in it
Art. 361-4 of the Criminal Code — Promoting extremist activities

Sentence: 5 years

Penalty: imprisonment in a medium-security penal colony

Judge: Dzina Kuchuk

Prison: Penal colony No. 22

Viachaslau Pantsiushenka was arrested in early September 202 for hanging Ukrainian and Belarusian national flags on the facade of a high-rise building in Minsk, together with his wife Katsiaryna Zaretskaya and with Dzianis VarozauVolha Tserakh, and Uladzimir Lavor. They were charged with hooliganism (Article 339 of the Criminal Code).

Two weeks after their arrest, the Ministry of Internal Affairs recognized the Zello channel in which the defendants communicated during the organization of their antiwar action, as an "extremist formation".

Among the articles, under which the political prisoners were eventually accused, there was no "malicious hooliganism", for which they were arrested and placed in custody. They were charged with much more serious articles of the Criminal Code: Parts 1 and 3 of Article 361-1 (Creation of and participation in extremist formation) and Part 2 of Article 361-4 (Supporting extremist activities).

In March 2023, it became known that Viachaslau Pantsiushenka was transferred from remand prison #8 in Žodzina, Minsk region, to remand prison #1 in Minsk.

The trial of the "flag case" began on March 20, 2023, in the Minsk City Court, behind closed doors. On April 6, 2023, Judge Dzina Kuchuk sentenced:

  • Dzianis Varozau to five years imprisonment in a medium-security penal colony.
  • Viachaslau Pantsiushenka to five years imprisonment in a medium-security penal colony.
  • Volha Tserakh to five years imprisonment in a medium-security penal colony.
  • Uladzimir Lavor to four years and nine months of imprisonment in a medium-security penal colony.
  • Katsiaryna Zaretskaya to five years imprisonment in a general-security penal colony.

Shot in knees and jailed: what Belarusians risks for their anti-war stance

In the first 50 days of the war, more than 1,500 people were detained for anti-war actions in Belarus. Viasna recalls stories of persecution for taking an anti-war stand.



Mail address: Penal colony No. 22. 225295, Brest region, Ivacevičy, station Damanava, PO Box 20

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