A young gay man died in Minsk on October 26 after spending past 18 months in a near coma resulting from a horrific homophobic attack.
Police and eyewitnesses testified that 33-year-old Michail Pishcheuski was harshly beaten on the night of May 25, 2013, after he and his friends left a gay party in a Minsk nightclub.
Police arrested the attacker, 30-year-old Dzmitry Lukashevich, immediately after the attack. In October 2014 Lukashevich was sentenced to two years and eight months in prison for «inflicting grievous bodily harm through negligence.» Lukashevich denied in court that his attack was motivated by Pishcheuski’s sexual orientation. The only aggravating circumstance considered was that the attacker was intoxicated at the time of the incident. Prosecutors were reluctant to contend in court that it was a hate crime.
In August 2015, under an amnesty law, Lukashevich was pardoned and released from jail.