Local Coordinator Program

The August 9 Belarusian presidential election triggered mass protests that have been met with the incumbent government’s violence. Around 20,000 people have been detained since the beginning of the peaceful protests.

SFL’s Belarus based Local Coordinator, Piotr Markielau, was jailed seven times under Lukashenko’s regime, but this time, alongside Piotr, each member of his family also suffered, as they were detained under different circumstances.

“The last time I was detained was November 15, 2020.  I, together with thousands of Belarusian activists, went into the streets to commemorate Roman Bondarenko, a Belarusian artist who was beaten to death.”

Piotr was released on November 30th. As Piotr himself says: 

“Though the detainment lasted for 15 days, it was still the “easiest” compared to the previous ones.” 

Earlier in November, Piotr’s father, Dmitry Markielau, was sentenced to eight days in prison. He was arrested after supporting expelled students for advocating against the regime. He was released from prison with COVID-19.

Piotr’s mother, Iryna, was detained twice, first on November 2 and again on November 8. During her last arrest, she was tortured with gas, denied food for almost 24 hours, and stripped naked.

“They want to intimidate us, break us. It is obvious that some of these people enjoy torturing us. Not only with bullying but also by using their authority. They realize that they can do whatever they want with us, and they won’t be held responsible for it,” she previously described. 

Piotr Markielau is 26 years old. He’s currently a member of the international pro-liberty network Students For Liberty. He studied theoretical physics at Belarusian State University and was twice expelled for his political views. For his activities, Piotr was arrested for 67 days in total. 

Accredited members of the media can arrange interviews with Piotr Markiełaŭ by contacting Students For Liberty’s Global Campaigns Manager Mariam Gogolishvili at [email protected] or by phone at 995557 116661


Students For Liberty is a rapidly growing network of pro-liberty students from all over the world. Our mission is to educate, develop, and empower the next generation of leaders of liberty. We are the largest pro-liberty student organization in the world. We accomplish this through a strategy of empowerment, identifying the top student leaders, and training them to be agents of change in their communities.

Students For Liberty is the largest pro-liberty student organization in the world.

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