A high-profile criminal trial, involving a group of young people and a young woman’s tragic death following MDMA use, has gripped Belarus.

On 4 August 2018, eight young people gathered in the apartment of Diana L (full name withheld) and took around 300mg of MDMA each (spread over two doses of MDMA), an amount considered to be heavy dosage.

After taking the second dose, Diana felt sick, began having spasms, and died soon after; she had been taking antidepressant drugs, and was likely unaware that combining such medication with MDMA can lead to serotonin syndrome – a potentially deadly condition. Her friends attempted to resuscitate her, but did not call emergency services for about an hour due to their fear of prosecution under the country’s repressive drug laws.