Marfa (Maria/Maryja) Rabkova is a third-year student at the European Humanities University (EHU) studying International Law and European Union Law. In addition to being a student, Marfa is a human rights activist, an advocate for a democratic Belarusian regime, and a Volunteer Services Coordinator at the Human Rights Center Viasna. In her role, Marfa coordinated various election and protest monitoring campaigns; furthermore, she oversaw peaceful assemblies that emerged across Belarus in 2020, due to the fraudulent Presidential election results on August 9, 2020. Marfa is known both by the faculty and by her peers as a bright student worthy of praise, she carries herself with modesty and thoughtfulness while always standing up for what she believes in. In 2020, Marfa was awarded the Homo Homini award, alongside three other Belarusian human rights organizers. This award is presented by the People in Need organization to individuals who have made great contributions to the promotion of human rights, democracy and non-violent solutions to socio-political conflict.
Marfa was arbitrarily detained alongside her husband on September 17, 2020. She was charged with violating three separate articles of the Criminal Code of Belarus; namely, article 293, which pertains to “education or preparations in mass riots or financing of such activities”. Their apartment was searched without a warrant that same evening, and all of their belongings were taken. Despite her husband’s release, Marfa was transferred to pre-trial prison No. 1 in Minsk, Belarus two days after she was initially arrested, on September 19, 2020. Marfa’s pre-trial was pushed for 2 years; finally, on September 6, 2022, she was sentenced to 15 years in a general-security penal colony with a fine of 22,400 Belarusian rubles on 13 alleged charges against articles of the Republic of Belarus Criminal Code.