Olga KaratchPress release from July 11, 2024

Peace activist and speaker at the 2024 International Munich Peace Conference Olga Karatch sentenced in absentia to 12 years in prison for her human rights work

The organizing team of the Munich Peace Conference strongly condemns the conviction of Olga Karatch by the Belarusian judiciary. She was sentenced in absentia to 12 years in prison and a fine of €170,000 for her human rights work.

On July 8, 2024, the Brest District Court announced the verdict in the case of human rights activist Olga Karatch, head of the International Center for Civic Initiatives “Our House” (Nash Dom). Olga Karatch was charged with “conspiracy to seize power by unconstitutional means” (Article 357, Part 1 of the Belarusian Criminal Code); “promoting extremist activities” (Article 361-4, Parts 1 and 2) and “discrediting the Republic of Belarus” (Article 369-1). Together with her, Veranika Tsepkala, Yauhen Vilski, Anatoli Kotau and Vadzim Dzmitrenak were also sentenced to 12 years in prison and heavy fines.

The decision announced by the Brest District Court creates an extremely worrying situation for Olga Karatch and her organization Nash Dom, which supports war opponents and conscientious objectors in Belarus as part of the #ObjectWarCampaign network. The court’s decision is also directed against other peace activists and human rights defenders from Belarus and threatens their safety. The worrying situation was also highlighted last week by the UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Belarus in her report to the UN Human Rights Council.

Olga Karatch is very active in defending human rights and promoting the right to conscientious objection in Belarus. It also supports Belarusian citizens who have fled to other countries to avoid military service in Belarus and possible military deployment alongside Russia in its aggression against Ukraine. She has already been prosecuted several times for these activities. Nevertheless, she is currently facing deportation from Lithuania, where she had applied for asylum. Olga Karatch explained that she could even face the death penalty or 25 years in prison.

Olga Karatch is being threatened and has now been sentenced for her human rights and peace work. She needs protection and a safe place to stay in Lithuania or another EU country.

The organizing team of the International Munich Peace Conference continues to stand in solidarity with the Belarusian human rights activist and emphatically demands that Olga Karatch be granted immediate protection in an EU country.

Download the press release HERE


Press release by Our House (Nash Dom), Human rights defender Olga Karatch sentenced to 12 years in prison in absentia in Belarus:

Press release from Connection e.V.,
Peace activist Olga Karatch was sentenced in absentia to 12 years in prison for her human rights work:

Speech by Olga Karatch at the International Munich Peace Conference on 16.02.2024:


Maria R. Feckl
Project Management International Munich Peace Conference

Phone: 0160 97 50 20 28
E-mail: office@friedenskonferenz.info

International Munich Peace Conference
Helmut-Michael-Vogel Bildungswerk e.V.
Frauenlobstr. 24 Rgb.
80337 Munich

Organizations of the sponsoring group:

German Peace Society – United Opponents of Military Service Bavaria (DFG-VK Bayern)
pax christi Diocese of Munich and Freising e.V.
International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War / Physicians in Social Responsibility (IPPNW)

IFFF International Women’s League for Peace and Freedom
MSKchange e.V.
Peace Tax Network
NatWiss Responsibility for Peace and Sustainability e.V.
Helmut-Michael-Vogel-Bildungswerk e.V. for peace work and international understanding