Dissident poet faces prison on theft charges

Slavamir Adamovich/ Novy Chas

A criminal case against poet Slavamir Adamovich was opened in December 2018, nn.by reports. Adamovich who has been under house arrest for some time told journalists he was charged with stealing about BYN300 (approx. $150). The complaint was filed by a physical person.

The trial will begin in Marjna Horka, Adamovich's town of residence, on 22 March. If convicted, Adamovich may be imprisoned for up to 4 years.

The poet insists the case is connected with his civic activism. He claims that everything started on March 25, 2018 when he was detained in Marjna Horka on his way to Minsk where Adamovich wanted to take part in the celebrations of the Freedom Day.

Slavamir Adamovich was one of the founders of the Association of Young Literati “Tutejshyja” at the end of the 1980s. In early 1990s, he confessed he had been recruited by Belarusian secret service KGB. In 1995, Adamovich wrote the controversial verse “Kill The President!” and was arrested for it. While in a KGB jail, he went on a dry hunger strike. The poet was released on recognizance 10 months later. The court ruled back then to imprison him for 10 months and the time he had already spent in prison was included in the term.

Adamovich emigrated to Norway in early 2000s but returned to Belarus in 2009. He has lived in Marjna Horka since then.