Philosopher and methodologist Uladzimir Matskevich
has been sentenced in Minsk Regional Court
This is 5 years of reinforced regime, the Belarusian PEN reported.
Matskevich was detained in August 2021.
He was charged under three articles of the Criminal Code:
Part 1 of Art.
342 (active participation in group actions that grossly violate public order) for the "March of the People's Ultimatum" on October 25;
Part 1 of Art.
361-1 (creation of an extremist formation) - for the platform "Assembly";
Part 1 of Art.
368 (insulting Lukashenka) - for a video on the YouTube channel.
In February Uladzimir Matskevich went on a 14-day hunger strike, demanding to change the measure of restraint to a written undertaking not to leave the country, to complete the investigation and set a date for the trial.
A pastor and a lawyer were not allowed to visit him for a long time.
Who is Uladzimir Matskevich?
Uladzimir Matskevich comes from a family of repressed Belarusians who were deported to Siberia after the Second World War.
Born in 1956 in the Irkutsk region of Russia.
Ten years later the family moved to Hrodna, where the boy graduated.
Matskevich worked as a miller at the cardan shaft plant in Hrodna.
Then he served in the army in the Transcarpathian region of Ukraine.
Later he entered the Leningrad State University as a psychologist, during his studies he became close to the Moscow Methodological Circle.
Until 1994, Matskevich lived in Leningrad (St. Petersburg), then in Vilnius, then in Riga, then in Moscow.
Then he came to Belarus, where a year later he received Belarusian citizenship.
In the 1990s, he worked closely with the Ministry of Education.
Between 1997 and 2001, he headed the Center for Methodology of the Republican Institute of Vocational Education (RIPA).
In 1999-2000, Matskevich took an active part in the dialogue of socio-political forces, which took place under the auspices of the OSCE.
He then lost his job in the public education system.
However, in 2003 Matskevich was unexpectedly invited to host the talk show "Choice" on ONT.
His work lasted only 9 issues there, and after the topic of the Belarusian language, where many viewers spoke in favor of wider use of the national language, Matskevich was fired.
Matskevich supported the creation of the organizing committee of the Belarusian Christian Democracy.
One of the latest political initiatives was the "Fresh Wind" campaign in support of Belarus' independence.
It arose in response to the active discussion and signing of integration "maps" between Russia and Belarus.
In December 2019, during mass actions against integration, activists of the "Fresh Wind" campaign initiated live chains in the center of Minsk.
Matskevich came up with the idea of the Flying University - several dozen courses of lectures from famous Belarusian thinkers.
An active believer, a Protestant of Calvinist nature.
In 2006, the philosopher joined a hunger strike of New Life Church members, whose building was confiscated.
Then the authorities left them alone.