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Lukashenka comments on “Mothers 328”: They are interfering in justice

Alyaksandr Lukashenka and Valyantsin Sukala. Photo:

Alyaksandr Lukashenka and head of the Supreme Court Valyantsin Sukala met on May 8 and discussed the hunger strike started by the movement “Mothers 328”.

The Belarusian President announced that it was inadmissible to mitigate the punishment for drug dealers, Sukala told journalists after the meeting. “Something may be changed for people taking drugs. But the form of the protest used by Mothers 328 is inadmissible. They are interfering in justice. It should not be happening here,” the head of the Supreme Court noted.

Only six of the hunger strikers sent appeals to the Supreme Court, Sukala noted. “As far as I know, two appeals were satisfied and the punishment was mitigated. There are laws allowing people to send complaints to the Supreme Court. However, there is no reason to expect any universal mitigation of the punishment for drug dealers,” he added.

Only people taking drugs (not distributing them) may expect indulgence, the head of the Supreme Court said.

There is an alternative form of punishment for drug consumers, he noted. According to part 1, article 328 of the Criminal Code, people taking drugs may be either imprisoned for 2-5 years or sentenced to the restriction of liberty. Only 30% are sentenced to imprisonment. “They may be imprisoned for repeated offence or if they are asocial persons. The rest are usually not jailed. The punishment for people taking drugs is selective,” Sukala explained.

A group of mothers started a hunger strike on April 27. They demand to mitigate the anti-drug law and want to meet with the President.