Valeriya Kastsiuhova is a political scientist, analyst, founder, and editor of the Nashe Mnenie (Our Opinion) expert community website, and editor and author of the Belarusian Yearbook monitoring expert group. On June 30, 2021, KGB searched her home and detained her. Valeriya has been held at the pre-trial detention centre in Minsk ever since.
The political scientist is being accused of calls to actions aimed at causing harm to national security and of conspiracy to seize power. There's scarce information available about the case against Valeriya Kastsiuhova, all persons involved have signed a non-disclosure. Human rights defenders recognized her as a political prisoner and Member of the Swiss National Council Stéfanie Prezioso became her 'godparent'.
On 17 March 2023, Judge Dina Kuchuk found the political prisoner guilty of previous charges and of inciting social hatred or discord. The political scientist was sentenced to 10 years in a penal colony. The trial was held behind closed doors.
Valeriya's story is told by her family, friends, and colleagues.