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Special Interview: Piotr Markiełaŭ talks about his experience as an activist in Belarus


On June 25, 2020, at 12PM EST, the team at Students For Liberty invites you to join us for a special interview on Instagram Live.

In the latest event of our Liberty at Home series, Russell Coates, our Content Marketing Specialist, will host Piotr Markiełaŭ, Students For Liberty’s Regional Coordinator for Eastern Europe, to discuss injustice and abuse of power in Belarus.

Piotr Markiełaŭ has been a prominent pro-liberty activist in Belarus for the past number of years. Alongside his role with Students For Liberty, he is also the International Secretary of Legalize Belarus, an organization dedicated to promoting drug policy reform, which Piotr co-founded in 2017. They aim to raise awareness around drugs and harm reduction practices, as well as advocating for an evidence-based approach to drug policy and respect for human rights.

Through his pro-liberty activism, Piotr has seen first-hand the injustices that result from authoritarian policies and lack of government accountability. One of the main issues that he highlights includes inhumane prison conditions and draconian sentences for victimless drug offenses. Corruption, suppression of dissenting opinions, and lack of accountability on the part of the police and KGB are also major concerns for activists hoping to achieve change in Belarus.

Having been arrested and detained several times for his activism, Piotr has significant personal experience with this system. Most recently, he was sentenced to 10 days of administrative arrest after filming KGB agents. This took place outside a courthouse where two other activists were under trial for a coffin dance protest during a military parade rehearsal. The activists were sentenced to 5 and 13 days administrative arrest, respectively. They subsequently reported being subject to brutal conditions imposed by prison guards.

Piotr was also detained during the parliamentary elections in December 2019 on charges of ‘hooliganism’, after drawing attention to suspected fraudulent ballot counts. Issues of corruption and suppression of protests are particularly relevant in the context of the upcoming presidential election this August.

To hear Piotr’s story and find out more about his activism, make sure to tune in for his interview.

Be sure to follow us on Instagram so that you’ll be notified when we go live this Thursday, June 25, 2020, at 12 PM EST!

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