Mikita Zalatarou was just 16 when he was arrested after being caught up in crowds leaving a protest in Homel, Belarus. The teenager was held in solitary confinement and has reportedly been tortured. Join his parents and call for his release.
According to Mikita’s dad, it all began in August 2020, when Mikita was waiting for a friend in the main square of Homel city, south-eastern Belarus. Nearby, people had been largely peacefully protesting the recent presidential election results when police moved in. According to Mikita’s father, as the crowd began running, someone told Mikita to run, too – so he did.
The next day police officers came to Mikita’s door. They beat the 16-year-old, accusing him of throwing a Molotov cocktail towards two officers the night before. After they arrested Mikita, they beat him in custody with an electric shock truncheon. Officers interrogated him without a lawyer or responsible adult present, and locked him up for six months before putting him on trial.
Mikita was convicted of mass disorder and using illegal explosives without sufficient evidence. Video evidence did not show him taking part in violence. The judge sentenced Mikita to five years in a child educational prison colony. Since then, Mikita has been held in solitary confinement and reportedly has been tortured. He is not getting the medical treatment he needs for his epilepsy.
His parents are calling for their son’s release. Help protect Mikita’s future.
Call on the authorities in Belarus to:
- ensure that Mikita Zalatarou is released pending a fair trial that meets international juvenile justice standards.