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Emil Ostrovko

Emil Ostrovko
Unfairly imprisoned: Emil Ostrovko

Jailed teenager hopes to study again

Seventeen-year-old Emil Ostrovko was waiting for his girlfriend at a bus stop on the outskirts of Minsk in April 2018 when police officers arrived, beat him, and arrested him for distributing illicit drugs. Earlier in the year, Emil got an afterschool job as a courier for an online company. His employer told him the parcels contained legal smoking materials.

After months in detention, Emil was given a 10-year prison sentence for drug trafficking, later reduced to eight years. The investigators did not look for the owner of the company or anyone else: only Emil was prosecuted.

He is one of around 15,000 children and young people in Belarus serving long prison sentences for petty drug offences. They are treated far worse than other prisoners and forced to do long hours of hard labour. Emil got frostbite from clearing snow with his bare hands. The situation is a little better now he is in an adult prison. But Emil still dreams of returning to his studies.

Send a message of support and solidarity.

Write to:

Emil Vadimovich Ostrovko
Correctional Colony Number 2
Ul. Sikorskogo 1, otryad 1
Mogilevskaya oblast
213800 Belarus


Russian, Belarussian or English

Suggested message (keep short): 

Emil is keen on studying and reading, and is particularly interested in economics, business and innovation.

Creative action:

Please send him the latest news on these fields, alongside other inspirational or interesting stories.

Can I:

  • Send a religious card or message? Emil is Catholic, so you can send him Christmas greetings
  • Send an Amnesty card or mention Amnesty? Yes
  • Include my name and address? Yes

Send an appeal letter

Urge the Prosecutor General to free Emil Ostrovko.

Write to:

Prosecutor General of the Republic of Belarus
Alexander Koniuk
Internatsionalnaya Str. 22
220030 Minsk

Salutation: Dear Prosecutor General


  • To immediately release Emil Ostrovko and ensure his criminal record is cleared.
  • To ensure no child in Belarus is prosecuted or imprisoned for minor, non-violent drug-related offences.
Case sheet
Appeal address label
Solidarity address label
Youth case sheet