Front Line Defenders Released a Statement Since Supreme Court of Belarus Upheld Nasta Loika’s 7 Year Prison Sentence

Front Line Defenders condemns the decision of the Supreme Court of Belarus to uphold the sentence of human rights defender Nasta Loika and expresses serious concern about the systematic ill-treatment and violations of the rights of the woman human rights defender throughout her detention.

The organization states: ‘The persistent targeting of Nasta Loika reflects a wider trend of increased targeting of human rights defenders and civil society by the authorities in Belarus. Front Line Defenders continues to call upon the authorities of Belarus to immediately release the woman human rights defenders, since the organization believes that she is being repeatedly targeted as punishment for her peaceful human rights work in Belarus, and for her refusal to leave the country.’

We remind you that on October 3, 2023 Belarusian Supreme Court upheld the decision of Minsk City Court to sentence human rights defender Nasta Loika to seven years of imprisonment. On June 20, 2023 Minsk City Court found the woman human rights defender guilty of "incitement of racial, national, religious or other social enmity or discord" under Article 130, Part 3 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Belarus.

Front Line Defenders highlight that, since her detention on 28 October 2022, Nasta Loika has been systematically denied the exercise of her rights while in prison. This includes prohibitions on her sending or receiving personal correspondence, amounting to a form of additional psychological pressure against the woman human rights defender. Throughout this detention period, Belarus authorities have also targeted the lawyers who represented Nasta Loika as defense attorneys, subjecting them to various forms of retaliation, including detention and disbarment. The targeting of human rights lawyers in this way constitutes a systemic violation of the woman human rights defender’s right to defense. In the earlier days of her detention, Nasta Loika also reported that she was exposed to inhumane treatment, including physical and psychological violence.
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