Updated at 18:49,15-10-2021

Lukashenka’s response to hunger strikers: No mitigation for drug pushers


Lukashenka’s response to hunger strikers: No mitigation for drug pushers
Alyaksandr Lukashenka and Valyantsin Sukala, phot. presidential press service
Drug dealers should not hope for mitigation, president Alyaksandr Lukashenka said at Tuesday’s meeting with chairman of the Supreme Court Valyantsin Sukala.

The hunger strike of the Mothers-328 representatives was discussed at the meeting.

The main demand of the movement is making amendments into the Criminal Code. They believe that punishment for drug felons is disproportionate and too severe, e.g. up to 10 years behind bars for half a gram of some drug.

“As for the protests staged by the mothers [of people convicted of drug pushing], they are inadmissible and interfere with the execution of justice. It is not the way that should be practiced in Belarus,” state-run news agency BelTA quotes Sukala as saying.

There are no plans to relax punishments particularly for drug pushers, he said with reference to the Belarusian leader. According to Sukala, future parliamentary bill may introduce some leniency only for drug users.

On April 27, the members of the movement started an indefinite hunger strike, seeking to mitigate the punishment under criminal article 328.

As of April 30, 14 women are on the hunger strike (7 in Kalinkavichy and 7 in Pukhavichy), whose relatives are serving sentences for the use of drugs (article 328 of the Criminal Code).

On May 2, head of the presidential administration Natallya Kachanava told the women that it was the law enforcement agencies that were against the mitigation. The hunger strikers were seeking a meeting with Alyaksandr Lukashenka, but they were flatly turned down.

In early April, Minsk activists held a rally for the decriminalisation of light drugs. There were 14 people demanding changes to article 328 — the abolition of punishment for the use of light drugs. Some participants of the action were fined.