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Amendments to Article 328 tabled with parliament

 Mothers 328 activists in Minsk's Independence Square / Anastasiya Boika, Euroradio

Activists of the Mothers 328 movement have gathered near the House of the Government in Minsk, hoping to learn the exact date of the discussion on the amendments meant to soften the punishment under Article 328 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Belarus that deals with drug-trafficking. The activists say they have received information that proposed changes were filed with the House of Representatives earlier in the morning.

“The draft is already at the House of Representatives and does not need any additional adjustment,” Mothers 328 activist Tatstsyana Kanetskaya told Euroradio.

The amendments to Article 328 of the Criminal Code of Belarus have been discussed for many months. Under the proposed changes, the lower limit of the punishment (the term in prison) for the violation of Article 328 (2) and (3) may be reduced.

The amendments aim to differentiate the punishment for drug dealers and drug addicts. The current Article 328 treats equally the dealers and users as the distributors of forbidden substances although their crimes are different. The minimal punishment is the same for both the dealers and users. It means that the users receive inadequately long prison terms.