Jail time: this is what happens when you poke the Belarusian bear
President Alexander Lukashenko is very quick to crush any dissident activity in Belarus
Andrey was working at a bar in central Minsk when he stumbled into the dangerous world of politics in a country where protest comes with a prison sentence, or worse.
At OK16, a former factory hall turned culture hub in the Belarusian capital, Andrey would often see Viktor Babariko, the CEO of a bank that owned the venue, in line for a coffee and a chat. When he unexpectedly announced his bid to challenge President Alexander Lukashenko in August’s election, Andrey thought: Why not join Babariko’s campaign?
But rather than herald a new era, the dream of wresting power from Lukashenko landed Andrey in a jail cell for more than six months, followed by a one-year term in a low-security prison that’s still pending. Babariko and his son, along with a number of other top team members and hundreds of other political activists, had already been incarcerated...