Natallia Hersche, who holds dual Swiss-Belarusian nationalities, has been moved to Prison No. 4 in Mogilev, the Swiss foreign ministry has confirmed.
Hersche has left a penal colony in Gomel where she was serving a 30-month jail term, the Department of Foreign Affairs told news agency Keystone-SDA, confirming a report by Swiss public radio SRF.
The 52-year-old was arrested in September 2020 and sentenced in December that year for taking part in anti-government protests in the Belarusian capital.
The Swiss embassy in Minsk plans to visit Hersche to assess the conditions of her detention, the foreign ministry said. Embassy officials have visited Hersche a total of 11 times to date and continue to offer her consular support.
According to SRF, a court last Friday ordered Hersche’s transfer for reasons that are unclear. It is also unknown whether the decision can be appealed.
Conditions are reportedly harsher at Prison No. 4. SRF cites information from a former inmate who said that he only saw sunshine for three months a year during his imprisonment.
The government of President Alexander Lukashenko has unleashed a sweeping crackdown on post-election protests, the biggest of which attracted up to 200,000 people. Human rights activists say more than 30,000 people have been detained and thousands beaten.
In January, a Swiss journalist was also briefly arrested by security forces in the streets of Minsk.
Source: Swiss Info