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Pavieł Mažejka

Last update: 5 September 2022
Pavieł Mažejka
Head of the cultural space City Life Center in Hrodna, journalist, and coordinator of the publishing initiative City Library, which specialized in publishing books about Hrodna or by authors from the city.

Pavieł Mažejka is one of the first political prisoners of the Republic of Belarus, in 2002 he was sentenced to two years of confinement for “slandering the president” in an article in the Pahonia newspaper. He served his sentence in Žłobin in an open-type correctional facility where he worked at a sawmill.

In March 2021, Pavieł Mažejka was arrested together with artist Ales Pushkin, who exhibited a portrait of the anti-Soviet saboteur Jaŭhien Žychar at the Center of Urban Life. On March 26, Pavieł Mažejka was summoned to the Hrodna prosecutor’s office for questioning. He did not return home because he was detained. Against Pavieł, together with Ales Pushkin, a criminal case was opened “for intentional actions aimed to restore and justify Nazism.” After 72 hours of detention, Pavieł was then released as “there were no grounds for detention anymore.

On May 12, 2021, the Economic Court of the Hrodna area decided to liquidate the Center of Urban Life, which over five years of its existence had hosted multiple exhibitions, concerts, discussions, and book and film presentations.

On August 30, 2022, Pavieł Mažejka was arrested in Hrodna and taken to a temporary holding facility. On September 2, he was transferred to the pre-trial detention center. This may mean that Pavieł had been charged.

On July 10, 2023, the trial of Pavieł Mažejka and lawyer Julija Jurhilevič, who was the defender of artist and political prisoner Ales Pushkin, began in the Hrodna Regional Court. At the beginning it was an open court but before the end of the trial court became closed to the public.

Pavieł Mažejka and lawyer Julija Jurhilevič were tried on the basis of part 2 of Art. 361-4 of the Criminal Code for “promoting extremist activities committed repeatedly by a group of persons based on a previous conspiracy.” They were accused of passing on information to the Belsat television channel, which the authorities recognized as an “extremist organization” on November 3, 2021. According to the case materials, Pavieł Mažejka, “in a preliminary collusion with Julija Jurhilevič,” from February to March 2022, provided Belsat with information about the revocation of her lawyer’s license, exclusion from the Hrodna Regional Bar Association, and Ales Pushkin’s the criminal case.

On July 26, the Hrodna Regional Court sentenced Pavieł Mažejka to 6 years in a medium-security penal colony, Julija Jurhilevič to 6 years in a low-security penal colony.

Mail address: Pavieł Mažejka, Prison No. 1, 230023, Hrodna, vulica Kirava 1.