Marfa Rabkova

Coordinator of Volunteer Service, Viasna HRC

Detained : 17 September 2020
Charges : Part 3 of Art. 293 of the Criminal code - Training or other preparation of persons for participation in mass riots, or financing of this activity
Status : Pre-trial, arrested

Marfa Rabkova is a human rights activist and coordinator of Viasna’s Volunteer Service. She was detained together with her husband Vadzim Zharomski on the evening of September 17 and taken to the Minsk office of GUBAZIK (Interior Ministry’s Main Directorate for Combating Organized Crime and Corruption). Their apartment was searched, and equipment, personal money and belongings were confiscated.

Marfa Rabkova was told that she was being detained as part of a criminal case under Part 3 of Art. 293 of the Criminal Code (training or other preparation of persons to participate in riots, or funding such activities).

On September 19, she was transferred from a detention center to pre-trial prison No. 1 in Minsk. A number of international human rights organizations, including Amnesty International, Front Line Defenders, and the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders (a partnership of the World Organization Against Torture and FIDH), supported Marfa Rabkova and demanded her immediate release.

On February 11, Marfa Rabkova faced new criminal charges of “inciting social hostility to the government by a group of unidentified individuals” (Part 3 of Art. 130) and “involvement in a criminal organization” (Part 2 of Art. 285 of the Criminal Code).

If found guilty, Marfa Rabkova may be imprisoned for up to 12 years.