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Ales Pushkin, Belarusian artist and political prisoner, died in prison

by Sergei Shestakov

On the night of 11 July, Belarusian artist and political prisoner Ales Pushkin died under unclear circumstances in the intensive care unit of Hrodna hospital at the age of 57. This was reported by his wife, Yanina Demukh, on her Facebook page.

Ales Pushkin is a non-conformist artist, performer, author of the manifesto of social art, organiser of political actions and the first unsanctioned march in Minsk.

In 2022, the artist was sentenced to five years in a high-security colony. He was accused of abuse of state symbols and incitement of racial, national, religious or other social enmity or discord. The reason for the criminal case was the placement of a portrait of Yauhen Zhikhar with a rifle on his shoulder at the exhibition.

Ales Pushkin served six months in Hrodna prison, where he was transferred from the colony. During the short time in Hrodna prison he lost 20 kilograms.

Ales Pushkin is the third Belarusian political prisoner, who died before his release. Vitold Ashurak died in Mahiliou prison in May 2021, Mikalai Klimovich died in Vitsebsk colony in May 2023.