Philosopher Matskevich Sentenced to 5 Years of Enhanced Security in Belarus | The most important political events in Belarus: assessments, forecasts, comments | DW

The Minsk Regional Court sentenced philosopher, political prisoner and founder of the Flying University Uladzimir Matskevich to five years in a reinforced regime, the PEN Center of Belarus reports on its telegram channel on Thursday, June 23.

The court found Matskevich guilty of gross violation of order (Part 1 of Article 342 of the Criminal Code), leadership of an extremist group (Part 1 of Article 361-1 of the Criminal Code) and insulting Lukashenka (Part 1 of Article 368 of the Criminal Code).

Philosopher was detained August 4, 2021. He was charged with organizing and preparing actions that grossly violate public order. In April of this year, his case was sent to court. The political prisoner was eventually charged for participating in the “March of the People’s Ultimatum” in October 2020, for creating a platform of people’s representatives “Skhod” and for a video on the YouTube channel “insulting Lukashenko.”

Matskevich himself in an interview with D.W. from the pre-trial detention center in Minsk said that not a single action or deed was named in his accusation, there was not a single episode. “I understand that my articles, statements, ideas and thoughts became the basis for the arrest, that is, they are going to judge me for Orwell’s “thought crime,” the philosopher wrote.

“Macekvich is a very uncomfortable philosopher”

The Viasna Human Rights Center called Matskevich a political prisoner because he was arrested for his beliefs. In the 90s, Matskevich was also involved in the reform of education in Belarus, and since then he has been associated with many significant human rights projects in Belarus – he was the founder of the Humanitarian Technologies Agency, the Flying University, the EuroBelarus consortium, he repeatedly wrote open letters to the Belarusian ruler Alexander Lukashenko.

Established in 2007, EuroBelarus is the national coordinator of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum for Belarus. The organization sees its mission in supporting “the pro-European development of Belarus as a full-fledged subject of European relations at all possible levels.” Vladimir Matskevich from 2011 to 2016 was the first head of the Rada, the executive body of EuroBelarus.

“Matskevich is a very uncomfortable philosopher who asks a lot of questions, offers solutions and knows where to go,” described its coordinator of the “Flying University” Tatyana Vodolazhskaya.

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