Ales Bondarau is a citizen of Minsk, a physicist by profession. He was one of the first political prisoners in modern history of Belarus. He was convicted for taking part in the the Day of Will – Belarusian Independence Day on 23 March 1997 at which demonstrators and militia clashed.
Chronicle of repression
On 1 April 1997 Ales was arrested and accused of hooliganism. Reportedly, the authorities had a photograph of Ales Bondarau threatening a militia officer with a stick. Human rights organizations in Belarus maintained that he was defending himself against an attack by militia officers. 5 other people were charged in the same case. Ales Bondarau was sentenced to forced labour and ordered to transfer 20 percent of his income to the state. At that time it was one of the first politically motivated decisions, and seemed to be very strict.