Belarusian Army Colonel Dies in Prison After Insulting President Lukashenko

Aleksander Kulinich, a lieutenant colonel in the Belarusian Reserves and a veteran of the 38th Separate Guards Airborne Assault Brigade of the Brest Airborne Forces, was arrested on February 29th, 2024. He was charged with violating Article 368 of the Belarusian Criminal Code which criminalizes insulting President Lukashenko. His trial was supposed to have been held on April 16th, 2024.

Death During Imprisonment

However, according to Belarusian opposition media outside of the country, Kulinich died at the pre-trial detention center No. 7 in Brest on April 9th, 2024. He was 52 years old. The official cause of death was listed as “coronary heart disease.” His body has reportedly already been returned to his family and he will be buried today in his hometown of Maladze?na, on his birthday, April 11th, 2024.  He is now being hailed as a political prisoner by several opposition media outlets which were unaware of his imprisonment.

Political Prisoners in Belarus 

According to Viasna Human Rights Center, an independent media outlet which tracks political prisoners in Belarus, 1377 person are currently facing high sentences and imprisonment under the Lukashenko regime. Six have been confirmed killed while in Belarusian prisons. The highest profile prisoner observed by the West is Nobel Peace Prize laureate and activist Ales Bialiatski who has been imprisoned for more than 1,000 days; he founded Viasna. He has been in solitary confinement for more than six months and is facing mounting health challenges according to his wife. He was convicted of financial charges in March 2023 as part of sweeping crackdowns by the Lukashenko regime after his close political survival in 2020 in which the security forces rammed through the election results through fear and intimidation tactics. Widespread protests after the election led to scores of arrests.

Kulinich’s death has been largely ignored by the Belarusian government and Western media.

Tessaron
Tessaron
United States Military Academy and American Military University Alumni. Victor covers flash military, intelligence, and geo-political updates.

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