Uladzimir Yaromenak: Political prisoners are bargaining chips
13:58, — Politics
Europe begins to retreat in the issue of the release and rehabilitation of Belarusian political prisoners.
Young Front activist Uladzimir Yaromenak, who was sentenced to three months of detention, gave an interview with charter97.org.
“The sentence came as a surprise. I expected a more severe one. Though three months are less then six, I consider the sentence to be unfair. I will appeal against it. If I don't file an appeal within 10 days, the sentence will take force,” the activist said.
He said he hadn't hoped for an acquittal.
“I didn't have illusions. I understood that once a case had been initiated I would be found guilty. In the Belarusian judicial system criminal cases are rarely closed down and people are rarely declared not guilty,” Uladzimir Yaromenak said.
He thinks if the West has set conditions for official Minsk, it should adhere to them and not retreat.
“The regime of Lukashenka only wins from the fact that the EU begins a 'dialogue' and makes concessions. The fact that Mr Makei's visits summits abroad shows that Europe begins to surrender. For almost 20 years of its existence the regime got used that political prisoners are not people but just bargaining chips and money,” Uladzimir Yaromenak sums up.
Young Front activist Uladzimir Yaromenak was arrested in January 2011 in the case of “mass disorders”. He was given a two-year sentence and sent to a correctional facility near Vitebsk. He and other activists involved in the case were pardoned in August 2011. Since his release he was thrown behind bars several times on administrative charges.
On March 15, 2013, Minsk's Pershamaiski district court prolonged for 6 months the police supervision over the activist that was imposed a year ago. Minsk's Pershamaiski district court found former political prisoner Uladzimir Yaromenak guilty and sentenced him to three months of detention.