13 May 2021: The Maskouski district Court in Minsk sentenced drummer Aliaksei Sanchuk to six years in prison for performing during opposition protests, reported Euro News.
Sanchuk was arrested on 4 November 2020 and sentenced to 15 days in prison for participating in “unauthorised demonstrations”, but he was never released and faced criminal charges. He was found guilty under three articles of the Criminal Code, Article 342 for organisation and preparation in actions violating public order, Article 293 for preparing persons to participate in mass riots, and Article 13 for preparation to participate in riots.
According to the investigators, Sanchuk was accused of allegedly teaching people how to “clap their hands”.
6 years in prison for 'teaching to clap hands': Political prisoner Aliaksei Sanchuk, a drummer who performed on Sunday marches in #Minsk, convicted
Details here: https://t.co/xCxq2o84mN#BY_culture #justice4belarus #StandWithBelarus
— BYCULTURE (@BYCULTUREFUND) May 14, 2021
Viasna said that the artist was reportedly beaten after his arrest, pressured in court and forced to record a video confession.
Sanchuk is a member of drummers collective Патрабуем разысьціся / We need to disperse, and he often performs during anti-government marches.
Freemuse’s State of Artistic Freedom 2021 report highlights that there were seven artists known to be imprisoned in Belarus in 2020.