On the day of the political prisoner’s anniversary a Solidarity Marathon took place at the office of the BPF party.
Mikalai Autukhovich is now serving his second term in prison. For the first time he was sentenced on 7 July 2006 for 3.5 years in prison with the sequestration of property. Court found him guilty of tax evasion causing budget damage in a large amount and also of undertaking entrepreneurial business without a registration and license. The term of imprisonment started for him on 15 October 2005 when he has placed in a jail in the colony No 1 in Minsk, camarade.biz reports.
Already then human rights activists had no doubts: Autukhovich was sentenced illegally. The real reason for his arrest was that he perfectly knew the corruption schemes in Vaukavysk and refused to participate in those himself.
He was one of the six political prisoners, released in the result of the introduction of tough US and EU’s sanctions at the beginning of 2008. However, when released he acted weirdly from the point of view of the current authorities.
He stated his intention to write a book about the corruption in Vaukavysk. And, apparently, started writing such a book, since he spent a little more than a year free. On 8 February 2009 he was detained again and sentenced in 2010 to 5.5 years in prison for alleged storage of weapon. Autukhovich’s health was then seriously undermined by a series of long-term hunger strikes and lack of the necessary medical assistance.
Why have the authorities grasped onto Autukhovich so hard?
Autukhovich aimed to help everyone who asked him for help. He is still spoken well of in Vaukavysk. He helped orphanages, aimed to work honestly. He showed everyone that, according to a human rights activist Aleg Volchak, the “Afghanis” are not gloomy fighters, but most kind people”.
“What he was accused of is a folly end-to-end. It is stupid to undertake creation of some partisan brigades for god knows what reasons, when you have a business with a million dollars turnover”, - Volchak believes. Yet again he emphasized that there was no crime in the actions of Autukhovich. At the same time, the court found Autukhovich innocent at the most complicated parts of the accusation – the accusations of terrorism and arsons of buildings and constructions simply fell apart in the court. In the end the court had nothing but to stick to the five bullets and a hunting rifle, which were stored in Autukhovich’s weaponry safe. Some time ago, voluntarily giving away the arms to police, Autukhovich simply did not inspect the safe and, probably, forgot the bullets in there. But maybe they never were there – there were so many mismatches and questions at the trial, that the people present did not believe any evidence or any testimony.