Prison administration said to be putting pressure on young opposition activist Eduard Lobaw

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Prison administration said to be putting pressure on young opposition activist Eduard Lobaw

The administration of Correctional Institution No. 22 in Ivatsevichy, Brest region, is putting pressure on young opposition activist Eduard Lobaw, Paval Sevyarynets, co-chairman of the Belarusian Christian Democracy party, told BelaPAN on Thursday.

“In a letter dated June 1, Eduard says that his situation has recently changed for the worse, and that he is now constantly charged with various disciplinary offenses,” said Mr. Sevyarynets, who is himself serving a three-year “restricted freedom” and corrective labor sentence in a dormitory-style correctional facility in the Brest region. 

The activist of an opposition youth group called Malady Front believes that he will be put on trial as a persistent violator of prison rules and banned from receiving parcels and meeting with family members on a regular basis, Mr. Sevyarynets said.

“Lobaw also thinks that he may become ineligible for amnesty,” he said. “Even so, he is cheerful and says that he is ready to serve the whole term. Eduard is a devout Catholic and a courageous man, an example for the new generation of Belarusians.”

On March 24, 2011, a district judge in Minsk sentenced Eduard Lobaw, currently 23, to four years in prison, and Malady Front leader Zmitser Dashkevich to two years in prison, finding them guilty of “especially malicious hooliganism.”

The two young men were arrested in Minsk on December 18, 2010, on the eve of a scheduled large-scale post-election protest, for allegedly beating up two passers-by.

Speaking during their trial, Messrs. Lobaw and Dashkevich said that the incident was a provocation orchestrated by authorities and accused the two alleged victims of giving false testimony.