The trial of Zinaida Mikhnyuk, a political prisoner and activist of the REP trade union [Belarusian Trade Union of Radio and Electronics Industry Workers, affiliated to the BKDP – classified as “terrorist organization” by the government NdT], concluded on 18 May in the Leninski District Court in Brest. She is charged with insulting the President under Part 1 of the Criminal Code, Art. 368.
Judge Andrei Hrushko examined the case. Zinaida Mikhnyuk, an activist of the REP trade union, was arrested on 25 March 2022 after her home and office were searched. She was placed in pre-trial detention centre No. 7 in Brest before the trial. According to information sent by one of the prisoners behind bars, Mikhnyuk is being charged on the basis of evidence she had in her possession as a REP activist.
Earlier, human rights activists learned that the trial of political prisoner Zinaida Mikhnyuk would take place directly in the detention centre, where she was imprisoned.
Human rights activist Uladzimir Vialichkin believes that such a decision was made on purpose : “I think the prison trial is so that society doesn’t find out that there is no evidence of crime. The aim is to gradually remove the leaders of the independent unions from the public sphere, to repress the trade union movement, to intimidate society so that people lose their last hope for justice.”
According to Brest Spring, about two dozen people came to the trial. Only four of them were accepted (presumably all are witnesses in the case). The others were not allowed in, including Zinaida’s husband. In fact, the trial was held behind closed doors.
The court sentenced Zinaida Mikhnyuk to two years in a maximum security prison colony.