Political prisoner Yury Rubtsou sentenced to 2 years in colony

Political prisoner Yury Rubtsou has been sentenced to 2 years in colony. The decision was made by a judge of the Pruzhany rayon court Mikalai Rapikha. The public activist was found guilty of "evading punishment."

The verdict was announced on 28 May.

The trial of the political prisoner began on morning of May 27. Yury Rubtsou has already been serving a 1.5 year sentence in the special settlement in the village Kuplin, Pruzhany rayon, for insulting the judge. This time he was tried for refusing to do the work he was offered.

In April, Mr Rubtsou went on hunger strike, when he was placed in the detention facility over the new charges. Those present in the court saw that Mr Rubtsou became very thin following the strike.

Mr Rubtsou said that he had not been ordered to work - rather he was offered to do it. Mr Rubtsou said that he had a right to reject the offer, which he did. The political prisoner insisted that he be given a job with an average salary in the country - 600 dolars in rubles, but his refusal to work was not definite. The fact that Mr Rubtsou did not refuse to do work as such was confirmed by witnesses.

The prosecutor Zaitsava demanded for Rubtsou to get 2.5 years in prison. In view of the outstanding term, it means 3 years imprisonment in a general regime institution - the maximum possible punishment.

Mr Rubtsou's lawyer, in turn, said that the court had not been proven that Mr Rubtsou intended to evade employment. In his final statement, the political prisoner said that he was required to sign a document saying that he voluntarily renounced work.

Mr Rubtsou: "This is cynicism of the authorities, which on the one hand says that I have to work, and on the other hand, that I have to sign a document claiming I went to work voluntarily. These things are incompatible. I was first to draw attention to it, and it is for that I am being tried."

In the autumn of 2014,  the Homiel activist Yury Rubtsou was sentenced to 1.5 years of special settlement on charges of insulting the judge Kiryla Palulyekh of the Soviet rayon court in Minsk. The man was detained by the police after the Charnobylski Shlyakh. During the march, Mr Rubtsou was wearing a T-shirt with the inscription "Lukashenka, go away." Two days later, he was brought to court from the detention center in Akrestsina naked to the waist. According to the judge, he was abused by Mr Rubtsou after he agreed to try Mr Rubtsou who was half naked.