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Nasta Loika sentenced to another 15 days of administrative arrest for “petty hooliganism”

Status: 
Sentenced
About the situation

On 31 October 2022, the Pieršamajski District Court in Minsk, Belarus sentenced woman human rights defender Nasta Loika under “petty hooliganism” charges under Article 19.1 of the Code of Administrative Offences to 15 days of administrative arrest. What prompted the charge was not reported. Prior to this sentence, on 28 October 2022, Nasta Loika was arbitrarily detained by security forces in Minsk, allegedly, for extremism charges. This was the third time the woman human rights defender was sentenced on the same charge since September 2022.

About the HRD

Nasta Loika is a prominent Belarusian woman human rights defender. In her human rights work, Nasta Loika has been focusing on repressive “anti-extremist” laws, and on the protection of the migrants and stateless people rights in Belarus. The woman human rights defender has also been working in the field of human rights education. In the summer of 2021, Belarus authorities shut down the organization Nasta Loika used to work with, Human Constanta, which promoted public interests and joint actions in response to modern challenges in the field of human rights, as a part of an orchestrated attack against the civil society in the country.

16 November 2022
Nasta Loika sentenced to another 15 days of administrative arrest for “petty hooliganism”

On 14 November 2022, the Pershamaiski District Court in Minsk, Belarus, once again sentenced woman human rights defender Nasta Loika to 15 days of administrative detention under “petty hooliganism” charges. Nasta Loika was initially scheduled to be released from her previous administrative detention, that commenced on 28 October 2022, on Saturday 12 November. However, the colleagues of the woman human rights defender reported that on the day of release they had no news about Nasta Loika’s whereabouts.

Nasta Loika is a prominent Belarusian woman human rights defender working in the field of human rights education. She has also worked on the use of repressive “anti-extremist” laws, and advocates the protection of the migrants and stateless people rights in Belarus. In the summer of 2021, Belarusian authorities shut down the organisation where she previously worked - Human Constanta - which promoted public interest and joint actions in response to modern challenges in the field of human rights. The shut down was part of an orchestrated attack against the civil society in the country.

On 14 November 2022, the Pieršamajski District Court in Minsk once again sentenced Nasta Loika to 15 days of administrative detention under “petty hooliganism” charges, Article 19.1 of the Code of Administrative Offences. The prosecution stated that Nasta Loika, while being held in one of the offices of the Pieršamajski Disctrict Depatment of the Ministry of Interior, shouted and behaved aggressively and defiantly, therefore violating public order and “showing obvious disrespect for society.”

During the Court hearing that Nasta Loika attended virtually, the woman human rights defender stated that she was exposed to physical and psychological violence during her detention. She was brought in for interrogation twice by the Main Directorate for Combating Organized Crime and Corruption of the Ministry of Interior of the Republic of Belarus officials, where she was once electrocuted with a stun gun. Nasta Loika also reported that on 11 November 2022, one of the officials from the Isolation Center forced her to stay in the yard without any coat for 8 hours, causing her a severe cold.

This is the second consecutive and the fourth overall administrative arrest for “petty hooliganism” against Nasta Loika in 2022. During her previous administrative detention, the woman human rights defender had no access to legal support and she was denied the right to receive medication and warm clothes while in detention. Nasta Loika’s colleagues reported that, despite the fact that detention center accepted the medications sent to the woman human rights defender, the parcel never reached her. The detention center officials continue to refuse to accept warm clothes and personal hygiene items for Nasta Loika.

Front Line Defenders is gravely concerned about the continuous arrests and detention of woman human rights defender Nasta Loika, as well as horrific report of physical and psychological violence that the woman human rights defender is exposed to while in detention. Front Line Defenders believes that the woman human rights defender is being repeatedly targeted for her peaceful human rights work in Belarus and for her refusal to leave the country. The persistent charges and arrests of Nasta Loika is part of the increasing attacks against Belarus's human rights defenders and civil society by Belarusian authorities, and calls for immediate and unconditional release of woman human rights defender Nasta Loika.

31 October 2022
Woman human rights defender Nasta Loika sentenced to 15 days of administrative arrest under “petty hooliganism” charges

On 31 October 2022, the Pieršamajski District Court in Minsk, Belarus sentenced woman human rights defender Nasta Loika under “petty hooliganism” charges under Article 19.1 of the Code of Administrative Offences to 15 days of administrative arrest. What prompted the charge was not reported. Prior to this sentence, on 28 October 2022, Nasta Loika was arbitrarily detained by security forces in Minsk, allegedly, for extremism charges. This was the third time the woman human rights defender was sentenced on the same charge since September 2022.

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Nasta Loika is a prominent Belarusian woman human rights defender working in the field of human rights education. She has also worked on the use of repressive “anti-extremist” laws, and advocates the protection of the migrants and stateless people rights in Belarus. In the summer of 2021, Belarusian authorities shut down the organisation where she previously worked - Human Constanta - which promoted public interest and joint actions in response to modern challenges in the field of human rights. The shut down was part of an orchestrated attack against the civil society in the country.

On 31 October 2022, Nasta Loika was sentenced by the Pieršamajski District Court in Minsk, Belarus to 15 days of administrative detention for “petty hooliganism” under Article 19.1 of the Code of Administrative Offences. The trial took place online with a lawyer present, but what prompted the charge was not reported. Nasta Loika is now detained in Akrestina detention centre in Minsk.

On 28 October 2022, at 2pm, the woman human rights defender was arbitrary detained by security forces in Minsk. At 6pm, one of the state-affiliated telegram channels published a video, where Nasta Loika, was handcuffed, and “confesses” that she received funding from foreign organisations. The officials accuse the woman human rights defender of “aiding extremism,” a criminal offence under Article 361-4 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Belarus. In the video, woman human rights defender, admits to her participation in peaceful protests, confirmed that she worked for Human Constanta, a human rights organization that was shut down by the Belarusian Government. Working for an organisation that has been shut down is a criminal offence under Belarusian law. Nasta Loika also admitted on camera that Human Constanta received funding from Amnesty International. The post, published along with the video, suggests that receiving such funding designates the organisation as part of “the collective West sponsoring a revolution in Belarus.” The officials in the video calls the woman human rights defender a “famous fraudster.” On the same day, Nasta Loika’s apartment was raided by officials from the Main Directorate for Combating Organised Crime and Corruption of the Ministry of Interior of the Republic of Belarus, and her equipment was confiscated.

Nasta Loika has repeatedly faced retaliation for her human rights work. Since 6 September 2022, she has been sentenced to two consecutive administrative detentions based on petty hooliganism charges. During her previous administrative detention, the woman human rights defender had no access to legal support and she was denied the right to receive medication and warm clothes while in detention.

Front Line Defenders is gravely concerned about the continuous arrest and detention of woman human rights defender Nasta Loika. Front Line Defenders believes that the woman human rights defender is being repeatedly targetted for her peaceful human rights work in Belarus. The persistent charges and arrests of Nasta Loika is part of the increasing attacks against Belarus's human rights defenders and civil society by Belarusian authorities, and calls for immediate and unconditional release of woman human rights defender Nasta Loika.