‘Circles Of Hell’: Activist Who Documented Alleged Police Abuse Sentenced To Seven Years For ‘Inciting Social Hatred’

(Photo by MICHAL CIZEK/AFP via Getty Images)

John Oyewale Contributor
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A Belarusian activist was reportedly convicted of “inciting social hatred” Tuesday and sentenced to seven years in jail, according to the Associated Press.

Anastasiya Loika, 34, was reportedly convicted of “inciting social hatred” for her work documenting alleged police abuse toward political opposition groups, according to the AP. She was reportedly tried behind closed doors in the Minsk City Court in Belarus, according to The Insider.

Loika had reportedly previously served five consecutive 15 day detention terms between September and December 2022 for “petty hooliganism” and was allegedly deprived of medicine and warm clothing, according to Amnesty International. (REPORT: Belarus Says It Has Nuclear Weapons, Threatens To Use Them)

Pavel Sapelka, a representative of Belarusian human rights organization Viasna, said Loika “has passed through all the circles of hell like other Belarusian political prisoners,” according to the AP. Loika is one of the 1,496 political prisoners in Belarus as of Tuesday, Viasna said.

Protests followed Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko‘s controversial election in August 2020, leading to the arrest of over 35,000 people. Other high-profile jailings in Belarus include those of Nobel laureate and Viasna founder Ales Bialiatski, and opposition politician Andrey Dzmitryeu.

Lukashenko is the first and only president of Belarus since 1994, according to the president’s press service.