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Political prisoner Vatslau Areshka turns 68 today

Trade union activist and editor of the bulletin of the Belarusian trade union of workers of the radio-electronic industry Vatslau Areshka is celebrating his 68th birthday behind bars today.


Political prisoner Vatslau Areshka turns 68 today
Vatslau Areshka

Vyachaslau Areshka is a Belarusian political scientist and public figure, an activist of the REP trade union, known as Vatslau Areshka. He was detained on April 19, 2022 after a search in the apartment. Vyacheslau was placed in the KGB pre-trial detention center and charged. In July, he was transferred to SIZO-1 on Volodarsky Street. It is known that the symbolic "godfather" of the political prisoner is the deputy of the Slovenian Parliament from the Slovenian Democratic Party Anže Logar.


The trial of REP trade union leaders, including Mr. Areshka, has been held in the Minsk City Court since November 2022. They were accused under Part 1 of Art. 361-1 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Belarus (Participation in an extremist formation); Part 3 of Art. 361 of the Criminal Code (Calls for actions aimed at causing harm to the national security of Belarus); Part 3 of Art. 130 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Belarus (Incitement of social hatred); Part 3 of Art. 361-1 of the Criminal Code (Creation of an extremist formation and participation in it).


Judge Anastasia Popko, at the suggestion of prosecutor Roman Bizyuk, closed the hearings on the case in the courtroom for visitors. On December 27, a sentence was expected for the activists of Belarusian independent trade unions, but the judge unexpectedly announced that the trial of the activists was postponed due to newly discovered circumstances, and asked everyone to leave the courtroom.


The verdict was handed down on January 5, 2023. Independent trade union activists were found guilty. Anastasia Popko sentenced Vatslau Areshka to eight years in prison.

Many union prisoners are known to have deteriorating health during their imprisonment. Vyachaslau's eyesight deteriorated significantly.


Today, January 18, Vyachaslau turns 68 years old. Until the appeal is considered, it can be supported by parcels, money orders and telegrams: SIZO-1. 220030, Minsk, st. Volodarsky, 2, Vyachaslau Areshka.


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