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Female trade union activist waits for new trial having spent 70 days in punitive isolation ward

The political prisoner and the REP union activist Palina Sharenda-Panasiuk, who is currently held in a pre-trial detention facility, awaits a new trial. Her husband Andrei Sharenda reported that since the beginning of 2024 Palina had spent 70 days in a punitive isolation ward.

“The last months have been particularly hard for Palina. In just the first five months of the year they held her in a punitive isolation ward where she faced both physical and moral pressure. Half a year in complete isolation from the outside world. We cannot even imagine what they have threatened her with and what they have done to her to make her agree to appear in their propaganda video. She has also received false promises that she would be able to see her children whom she hasn’t seen for three and a half years,” wrote Andrei Sharenda in the Facebook.

The situation was exacerbated by the new criminal case and another transfer. Andrei has pointed out that there is no information about what happened to Palina in May before the transfer, but she arrived at the pre-trial detention facility with virtually no effects. “Probably they told her she was transferred to be released,” he added.

According to Andrei, Palina asks people to stop calling her a political prisoner, for any prisoner, even a political one, has a term to serve behind bars, while Palina has been denied even that; her term has become endless.

Palina is a civil and trade union activist from the town of Brest who was detained on January 3, 2021. The mother of two underage sons, she has been convicted under a number of Criminal Code articles. At the end of February 2022, a new criminal case was instigated against the political prisoner and she was sentenced to another year in jail.

On October 9, 2023, the Judge Stanislau Invaniutsenka found Palina Sharenda-Panasiuk guilty of “willful insubordination to the administration of her penitentiary” and sentenced her to yet another year on top of the three she had already received.

The female union activist routinely faces violence and abuse from the penitentiary administration.

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