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Valko-Venäjä: Vapauttakaa ihmisoikeuspuolustaja Nasta Loika välittömästi ja ehdoitta



Andrei Shved
Prosecutor General of the Republic of Belarus
Internatsiyanalnaya Str., 22
Minsk, 220030 Republic of Belarus

Email: info@prokuratura.gov.by

Dear Prosecutor General,

I am extremely concerned about the arbitrary criminal prosecution and detention of human rights defender and prisoner of conscience Nasta (Anastasia) Loika and reports of torture and other ill-treatment.

On 28 October 2022, Nasta Loika was arbitrarily arrested in Minsk and given 15 days of detention on 31 October, under the false accusation of “petty hooliganism” (Article 19.1 of the Code of Administrative Offences). However, she was not immediately released after serving her sentence and given four additional 15-day terms in detention for the same purported offence. On 24 December 2022, she was arbitrarily charged under Articles 342.1 and 130.3 of the Criminal Code.

Nasta Loika reported that while in detention she had been tortured by electric shock during questioning and that she was left for eight hours in the courtyard outside without outerwear. She is consistently not being provided with required medical help, which in itself may amount to inhumane and degrading treatment.

On 20 June 2023, Nasta Loika was sentenced to seven years in a penal colony  for inciting other social hatred under Part 3 of Article 130 of the Criminal Code.

Nasta Loika has committed no crime and is being relentlessly targeted by the authorities in retaliation for her human rights work.

I urge you to:

Ensure Nasta Loika’s immediate and unconditional release and end the misuse of the criminal justice system to target her and other human rights defenders in Belarus.

Instigate an immediate investigation into the allegations of Nasta Loika’s torture and other ill-treatment, and into her arbitrary detention and prosecution, and suspend any officials who may be reasonably suspected of respective violations until the outcome of the investigation and ensure that all those responsible are held accountable in fair trial proceedings without recourse to the death penalty.

Yours sincerely,