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Political prisoner Volha Brytsikava to face trial on March 11 in a closed hearing

Updated: Mar 5

The former head of the workplace union at the JSC NAFTAN oil refinery, an affiliate of the Belarusian Independent Union, was detained in August 2023. Initial reports said that she was accused of "calls for actions jeopardizing national security"

Volha Brytsikava
Volha Brytsikava

Evidently, it took police and security officers in the town of Navapolatsk more than a month of massive detentions and interrogations to come up with any information at all they could use against Brytsikava. As a result, she will now be tried for fomenting “other types of social animosity” under Part 1 Article 130 of the Criminal Code (incitement of racial, national, religious or other social animosity or discord).

The Vitebsk Regional Court will hear her case in camera, starting on March 11. The presiding judge is Halina Bondal.

Volha Brytstikava had worked at the NAFTAN oil refinery for 16 years before she was dismissed for voicing her position. This political prisoner faced numerous detentions for her anti-war statements and dissemination of “extremist” materials.

In 2022, she spent 105 days behind bars, 75 of them in a row.

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