Zmicer Bandarenka

Zmicer Bandarenka was born on 28 September 1963 in Minsk. Zmicer is a civic activist and a supporter of the Belarusian Association of Journalists. He was born in Minsk on September 28, 1963, and graduated from the Physical Education Institute in 1984. In 1995-1996 he worked for an independent radio 101.2 FM that was shut down by authorities. Zmicer is one of the founders of the citizens’ initiative Charter 97, and a coordinator for the grass-roots campaign European Belarus.

Since 1998 Zmicer Bandarenka was a member of the Coordinating Council of Democratic Forces of Belarus. He was the organizer of the famous protest marches “Let us live!”, “For a better life,” Freedom Marches and protests against the rigging of election results in 2001, 2004, 2006, 2008.

Chronicle of repression

During the presidential election 2010 Zmicer was a member of the electoral staff of Andrei Sannikau’s campaign. He was arrested at home on 20 December  and placed in the KGB detention center. In the end of December he was charged under Article 293, Parts 1 and 2 of the Criminal Code (mass disturbances). On 4 April 2011, these charges were changed to Article 342 (actions that seriously disrupt civil order). On 26 April  Zmicer was sentenced by judge Tatsiana Ravinskayaa to two years in penal colony.

During the imprisonment he underwent complicated spinal surgery, he did not have access to a proper health care and his health deteriorated. On 25 July 2011, Zmicer Bandarenka was transferred from the Prison Hospital to Hospital No. 5 in Minsk, where he had a surgery. On 17 August 2011 political prisoner was transferred back to the Prison Hospital, located at the Volodarka prison. On 1 September 2011 Bandarenka was transferred to the penal colony No. 15 in Mogilev.

He was released on amnesty on 15 April 2012.