One of the defendants in the Case of 14. Mikalay Pashkevich was born in 1986 in the Komi Republic (Russia). His father worked as a doctor, and his mother was an economist. A few years after the birth of Mikalay, family returned to the native Belarus. Mikalay Pashkevich studied history at the Belarusian State University. He was expelled from the University for taking part in the tent city protest in the center of Minsk in March 2006. The same year he joined the ranks of the United Civil Party of Belarus, and soon became the Vice-President of the youth wing of the party. He participated in many protests.
Chronicle of repression
Thousands of people, including civil society activists and businessmen, took to the streets in Minsk on 10 January 2008 to participate in a demonstration against the introduction of a presidential decree concerning restrictive tax and employment regulations for small businesses. The demonstration was organized by entrepreneurs who had applied to the authorities for permission to hold the demonstration. They did not receive a reply to their request and decided to go ahead with the protest. Fourteen individuals were subsequently convicted for taking part in or organizing actions that gravely disturb public order, among them Mikalay Pashkevich who was detained during the demonstration. He was sentenced to 15 days of administrative arrest.
On 22 April 2008 he was charged by judge Elena Ilina under the art. 342, part 1 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Belarus (organization and active participation in group actions, seriously violating public order). He was sentenced to two years of freedom restriction. On 11 June 2009 Ales was amnestied and the case was closed. Since that time, he was repeatedly detained for political reasons. During the presidential elections in 2010 he took part in the Tell the Truth! campaign. In 2010, he was once again sentenced to 15 days’ imprisonment for taking part in the action of solidarity with political prisoners.