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Belarus (outcome): Human rights defender, Nasta Loika sentenced to seven years

Nasta (Anastasia) Loika was sentenced to 7 years in a penal colony for “inciting racial, national, religious or other social enmity or discord” on June 20, 2023. She is a prisoner of conscience, targeted in retaliation for her human rights work.


Nasta (Anastasia) Loika is a prominent human rights defender and educator, focusing her work on human rights violations resulting from the use of the repressive “anti-extremist” legislation in Belarus, the protection of foreign nationals and stateless persons in Belarus, and on human rights education.

Nasta Loika was sentenced for “inciting racial, national, religious or other social enmity or discord” under Part 3 of Article 130 of the Belarusian Criminal Code on June 20, 2023. The Belarusian human rights defender and prisoner of conscience was arbitrarily detained on October 28, 2022, accused of “petty hooliganism”, a violation under Article 19.1 of the Code of Administrative Offences.

As the Belarusian authorities repeatedly brought the allegations against her, she served a total of five consecutive 15-day terms in detention for the same purported offence. On December 24, 2022, she was arbitrarily charged under Articles 342.1 (“Organization and preparation of actions that grossly violate public order, or active participation in them”) and 130.3 (“inciting racial, national, religious or other social enmity or discord”) of the Belarusian Criminal Code.

Nasta Loika reported that she had been tortured by electric shock during questioning and that whilst in detention she was left out in the courtyard for eight hours without outerwear in cold weather. She has consistently not been provided with the medical care she requires, which in itself may amount to inhumane and degrading treatment.

Amnesty International will continue to monitor the situation and is planning a longer-term campaign on the situation in Belarus, but urgent mass-mobilization is no longer at this point considered strategic.