Vadim Duboisky has already been held for 10 months in a Russian detention centre at the request of Belarusian law enforcement authorities
Memorial Human Rights Centre, in accordance with international criteria, considers Vadim Duboisky, a citizen of Belarus and a participant in rallies against the rigged elections, a political prisoner. We believe he is being prosecuted for exercising the rights of freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.
Memorial demands the immediate release of Vadim Duboisky from custody. We demand that the Russian authorities comply with their international obligations under the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees. The request for the extradition of Duboisky to Belarus must be rejected and he must be granted temporary asylum.
Vadim Duboisky, 31, who lives in Brest, participated in protests against the results of the presidential elections in Belarus. On 11 August 2020 he was detained. According to Duboisky, he was held in a basement and beaten for three days before being released. A hospital diagnosed him as having ‘bruises to the hip and chest.’
On 4 September 2020 Duboisky was again detained ‘for participation in mass riots’ (Article 293, Part 2, of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Belarus, carrying a sentence of up to eight years in jail) in connection with the events of 11 August 2020. A week later he was released under travel restrictions. Duboisky is accused of ‘moving at least three benches onto the roadway together with other persons and breaking up paving stones.’ Subsequently, the Belarusian Investigative Committee refused to institute criminal proceedings into the beatings Duboisky suffered.
In the autumn of 2020, Vadim Duboisky left Belarus and travelled to the Russian Federation. The Investigative Committee of Belarus issued a warrant for his arrest. On 11 April 2021 Duboisky was detained and remanded in custody in Belgorod. While there, he applied for asylum in Russia.
The Russian Prosecutor General's Office granted the extradition request made by the Belarusian authorities. On 9 September 2021, the court dismissed an appeal against the extradition.
On 20 October the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) prohibited the extradition of Vadim Duboisky until his application concerning Russia's decision to extradite him had been considered in Strasbourg. The ECtHR agreed with legal arguments that, in the event of his extradition to Belarus, Duboisky would be at risk of unlawful politically motivated prosecution and torture.
On 21 October 2021, an appeal court upheld the decision of Belgorod regional court on the legality of the decision of the Russian Prosecutor General's Office to extradite Duboisky. However, Duboisky continues to be held in a Russian pre-trial detention facility.
Vadim Duboisky has not been charged with the use of violence but with a vaguely defined ‘participation’ in riots.
In our opinion, the protests in Belarus, which began in August 2020, cannot be qualified as riots. The demonstrators did not commit arson or pogroms and did not use armed resistance against the authorities. It was not the protesters who used violence at the rallies, but the law enforcement agencies of Belarus. Moreover, there are no known cases of the prosecution of law enforcement officers, although there are numerous reports of unlawful prosecution of citizens who were victims of police violence.
According to Belarusian human rights defenders, there are approximately one thousand political prisoners in the country. Neither the grounds for the politically motivated charges that have become known, nor the procedures of criminal prosecution, meet the minimum standards for fair trial or for the protection of human rights in general.
We concur with the European Court of Human Rights that there are no grounds to expect the Belarusian authorities will ensure the rights of Vadim Duboisky are respected in the event of his extradition. We therefore consider Russia must refuse his extradition and grant him temporary asylum. This position is based on both Russian and international legal norms.
More information about this case and the position of Memorial Human Rights Centre is available on our website.
Recognition of an individual as a political prisoner does not imply Memorial Human Rights Centre agrees with, or approves of, their views, statements, or actions.
Address for letters in English: Vadim Aleksandrovich Duboisky (born 1990), Remand Centre No. 3, 169a Konstantin Zaslonov Street, Belgorod, Russia, 308017.
Address in Russian: 308017, г. Белгород, ул. Константина Заслонова, д. 169 «а», ФКУ СИЗО-3, Дубойскому Вадиму Александровичу, 1990 г. р.
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