Volha Mayorava

political activist, sentenced to 20 years of imprisonment

Date of birth: 22 August 1966

Date of detention: 4 January 2021

Charges indicted:

Art. 361 of the Criminal Code — Calls for actions aimed at causing harm to the national security of the Republic of Belarus
Art. 295 of the Criminal Code — Unlawful acts against firearms, ammunition and explosives
Part 2 of Art. 285 of the Criminal Code — Participation in a criminal organization in any other form
Art. 130 of the Criminal Code — Incitement to hatred
Part 1 of Art. 14 and Part 2 of Art. 357 of the Criminal Code — Attempted conspiracy to seize state power by unconstitutional means

Sentence: 20 years

Penalty: imprisonment in a general-security penal colony

Judge: Maksim Filatau

Prosecutor: Liudmila Herasimenka, Uladzimir Rabau

Prison: Prison No. 1

Godparent: Priska Seiler Graf, Swiss National Councillor

On the list of “terrorists” (money transfers are prohibited)
Volha Mayorava

Volha Mayorava is a political activist, formerly an active member of the United Civil Party.

Mayorava was detained on January 4 in her house in the village in the Krupki district as part of the so-called "Mikalai Autukhovich case." The house was searched, as a result of which KGB officers confiscated IT equipment.

At first, Mayorava was held in the KGB pre-trial detention center. Later she was transferred to a pre-trial prison in Hrodna.

In February 2021, the KGB put the political prisoner on the list of persons involved in terrorist activities.

Mayorava received 20 years of imprisonment in a general-security penal colony and a fine of 25,600 Belarusian rubles ($10,100). She was convicted under five articles of the Criminal Code:

  • ‘Taking part in a criminal organization in any other form’ (Part 2 of Article 285)
  • ‘Attempted seizure of state power by unconstitutional means’ (Part 1 of Article 14 and Part 2 of Article 357)
  • ‘Incitement to hatred by a group of persons’ (Part 3 of Article 130)
  • ‘Calls for actions/sanctions aimed at causing harm to the national security of the Republic of Belarus’ (Part 3 of Article 361)
  • ‘Unlawful acts against firearms, ammunition, and explosives committed by an organized group’ (Part 4 of Article 295)

The defendants in the case were political activist Mikalai Autukhovich, priest Siarhei Rezanovich, his wife Liubou Rezanovich, their son Pavel Rezanovich, pensioner Halina Dzerbysh, activist Uladzimir Hundar, activist Volha Mayorava, pensioner Iryna Melkher and her son Anton Melkher, and Iryna Harachkina, Viktar Snehur and Pavel Sava. They have been held behind bars for 22 months. Only two of them fully admitted their guilt.  All of them were detained in December–January 2020. The authorities immediately declared Autukhovich the organizer and leader of a “terrorist group” that operated in the Hrodna region and allegedly set police officers’ cars and houses on fire.

The trial lasted five months. The verdict was pronounced on October 17, 2022, in the Hrodna Regional Court. Judge Maksim Filatau imposed jail terms ranging from two and a half to 25 years. Deputy chair of the prosecutor's office Liudmila Herasimenka and senior assistant prosecutor Rabau represented the state prosecution at the trial. The people's assessors were Stavorka, Zhdanovich, and Nichypor.

Mikalai Autukhovich gets 25 years in jail, members of his ‘group’—up to 20

On October 17, 2022, the Hrodna Regional Court pronounced the verdicts on the high-profile Autukhovich case. The trial lasted five months. Judge Maksim Filatau imposed jail terms ranging from two and a half to 25 years.


Mail address: Prison No. 1. 230023, Hrodna, vulica Kirava 1

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