A man was arrested for using cannabis and sentenced to 2.5 years in prison

Legalize Belarus talked to the wife of the convict, Karina (name changed), who told about the difficult conditions of his imprisonment and personal experiences.

A man was arrested for using cannabis and sentenced to 2.5 years in prison
Legalize Belarus
21 December 2023
Stories of the convicted

«It was a regular day. My husband went out to meet a friend. They were in his car, and when my husband got out, riot police detained him. They started beating him, twisting his arms, and forced him to the ground,» Karina recounts.

«I was waiting for my husband at home and began to worry because a lot of time had passed. But then I heard the door open. I happily ran out of the kitchen and shouted, «Last name?» That was our little joke. But he didn’t answer, and then I saw people in black clothing. They started walking around our apartment without asking. Then they made me go out into the cold in light clothing. I only managed to grab a jacket, but it was still very cold. They kept me there for more than two hours. I froze,» the girl recalls.

«At first, there were five people, then three remained. Some left and came back, trying to talk to us as if we were their friends. They entered our apartment in our absence. Eventually, my husband was detained for three days on suspicion of distributing cannabis, but he was released afterward. However, he was taken again and sentenced to 2.5 years of imprisonment under article 328, part 2 of the Criminal code,» Karina explains.

«The attitude in the colony towards those who used drugs was bad, like outcasts. They were labeled with green tags. Physical force was not applied, but strict rules had to be followed, and any violation would lead to solitary confinement. You could only take a shower once a week, and there was no hot water,» the girl describes the conditions of the inmates.

«It was difficult for my husband to be in such conditions. I really wanted to help him, wrote letters to the Supreme Court with a request to reduce the sentence. Now I don’t remember exactly, but I think there were three letters. I succeeded,» Karina says.

«For a year while my husband was in prison, I was under severe stress, which affected my health a bit. But I waited for him and tried to move forward. Almost every day, I wrote letters. I visited him in prison when possible, and that’s where we got married,» the girl shares her experiences.

Karina believes that it’s abnormal to deprive someone of their freedom just because they occasionally use cannabis. «Perhaps punishments are justified in cases where someone produces and distributes cannabis on a large scale, but definitely not in the form of imprisonment. It’s a personal choice and health matter. Many won’t give up cannabis use even after being deprived of freedom for the maximum possible term for it,» the girl believes.

«Now this story is in the past for me. I went through a tough time, and I’m glad it’s all over,» Karina concludes.

The material was created based on anonymous monitoring.

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