women's rights activist, sentenced to 3 years under home confinement
Date of birth: 7 May 1981
Date of detention: 9 November 2021
Art. 342 of the Criminal Code — Organization and preparation of actions that grossly violate public order, or active participation in them
Sentence: 3 years
Penalty: restricted freedom under home confinement ("domashnyaya khimiya")
Judge: Siarhei Shatsila
Volha Harbunova is a women's rights activist, former head of the Radzislava NGO, which helps victims of domestic violence.
Harbunova was arrested on November 9, 2021 on suspicion of committing a crime under Art. 342 of the Criminal Code (organization or active participation in group actions that grossly violate public order), namely the organization of all-women's marches in 2020.
After arrest, Harbunova declared a hunger strike to protest her politically motivated persecution. She ended the hunger strike two weeks later after the prison authorities met some of her demands, including sleeping on a mattress, taking vitally important medication and sending and receiving mail.
On December 13, human rights defenders learned that Volha is charged under Parts 1, 2, 3 of Art. 293 and Parts 1 and 2 of Art. 342 of Criminal Code.
On May 5, 2022, the Saviecki district court of Minsk started the consideration of Volha's case. On May 6, the court found Harbunova guilty of organization and preparation of actions that grossly violate public order under part 1 of article 342 of the Criminal Code and sentenced her to three years under home confinement.
The activist was released from custody in the courtroom.