‘Country for Life’ activist Volha Paulava sentenced

The activist Volha Paulava after the sentence. Photo: Belsat

Political prisoner Volha Paulava has been sentenced in the Leninski district court of Minsk to three years of restricted freedom without being sent to an open-type institution.

After the election the activist of the ‘Country for Life’ Volha Paulava was detained four times – the last time on November 15, the day of the action in memory of Raman Bandarenka. Since then she has been kept in custody. After the march on Kurapaty (1 November) a criminal case under part 1 of article 342 of the Criminal Code (“Organization and preparation of actions that grossly violate public order or active participation in them”) was brought against the woman, but then the authorities did not send her to the detention center and did not even sentence her to jail, since the activist has a six-year-old child.

At the beginning of the trial Volha Paulava asked for the recusal of the judge for distrust, as earlier Maryna Zapasnik unlawfully prosecuted under administrative Article 23.34. The petition was rejected as unfounded.

Prosecutor Alyaksandr Ramanovich demanded three years of imprisonment without sending her to an open-type institution. The judge upheld his demand.

Volha Paulava asked not to stop her last word. The judge granted the motion. During the speech, those present cried and then stood up and applauded, notes the Human Rights Center “Viasna”.

“The whole point is that people think there are cases where you can treat a person without love, like a thing, and there are no such situations. People cannot be treated without love, and it cannot be otherwise, because mutual love between people is the basic law of human life… Seek the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and the rest will be added to you. And you are seeking the rest and obviously are not finding it,” said Paulava in her speech.