Christian Activist In Belarus Jailed Again
On the 11th of July 2023, Dmitry Dashkevich, a Christian political activist in Belarus who was imprisoned last year, was supposed to be released. However, the authorities unexpectedly arrested him again. Dmitry Dashkevich is a Belarusian activist, he was the leader of the Belarusian democratic movement "Young Front" in 2004-2015. He has been repeatedly detained by the authorities since the early 2000's, already serving two years in prison from 2011-2013.
On the 11th of July, when Dashkevich was supposed to be released, the Belarusian authorities suddenly brought a new criminal case against him, accusing him of disobeying the administration of the colony he was imprisoned in.
Dmitry Dashkevich, a Protestant, was sentenced to 1,5 years in prison for attending a protest in August 2020, with his wife being sentenced to three years at home. She was pregnant with their fourth child before the trial started, due to Dmitry's imprisonment, he has never met his child. His wife, Anastasia, writes on : "I do not know what to say to the children waiting for their father to return home."
Belarus has been restricting religious freedoms in recent years, with seven people fined for talking about Easter on the street this April 2023. The authorities also closed a Catholic school (which was also attended by the children of Dmitry and Anastasia Dashkevich) and terminated the Red Church's use agreement with the Roman Catholic parish in the autumn of 2022.